“What if you had to fill out an application to get into
heaven and on that application you had to answer the question: How did you live?”
Bear with me, here….
Do you realize at one time or another we are all seeking
meaningful connections with other human beings, pursuing personal goals or trying
to fulfill our hearts desires? Truth be told, most of us live our lives on fast forward not knowing where we are going or how we are going to get there until something or someone slows us down long enough for us to evaluate these two aspects of our lives, direction & means. By then it is often too late to go back and change the decisions made on the fly, so to speak. All of this
reminds me of my life before Christ.
With Christ in our lives, we are more able to recognize the importance of making decisions that affect our own life as well as the world around us. Christ gives us a compass to sort
through all the emotion and reality of living our daily lives. I believe He also helps us to understand how the daily mundane living along with the disappointments, the celebrations and the victories of life all fit together. In the course of understanding, we learn to reconcile all the good and the bad of our days. So the question above involves not only how we live our lives but to what end? Put plainly, are we spinning our wheels or really living?
In the movie Braveheart, there is a scene where William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, is imprisoned. Awaiting his “death” by purification, torture, the Princess of Wales comes to visit him. She begs him to ask for mercy and then proceeds to try and coax him to take a vile of liquid to “dull” his pain. She naively believes that if he would ask for mercy the king would spare his life and banish him to the tower where he, at least, could live. His response to her tearful plea, “Every man dies but not every man really lives?” That statement always strikes me as poignant because of the circumstances he was facing. From that one line, we comprehend that he would rather die a terrible death, knowing his life had purpose and meaning for the sake of freedom for others than to bow down to a tyrant king to become his prisoner for even one day. So what does it mean, exactly, to really live?
After some consideration, I have come to the conclusion that as a born again believer in Christ, really living would be living my life with purpose and freedom from sin. I do this by not only trusting in Christ as my personal Lord and Savior but also trusting that the sum total of my ‘mundane days’, the victories of my life and my disappointments are allowed and used by God for His glory. In order to believe the latter statement, I must completely trust God for every detail of my life. The next question then is how we trust an all-sovereign God with all of the details of our lives whilst knowing He is not only watching out for each one of us individually but He watches all the details of every person He has created at the same time.
Did you ever wonder how God keeps tabs on everything under the sun? His eye is on the sparrow, indicating that all of the creation is under His ever watchful eye and care. I was listening to my local Christian radio station on the way to work this morning and they were talking about how God cares for each and every one of us in a very personal way. My original thought posed a question came by way of a personal prayer request that I have been praying the last few months. It is a personal prayer that I am desperate for an answer, one way or the other.
The thought came to me because I already knew in my heart that God has heard my request but I do not know how He will answer it. It occurred to me that there was a time in my life when I would pray and struggle with the question “Is God hearing me?” I would get it in my mind that in order to exact a response from the Father I would have to take action. I would set about doing anything that would seek to get His attention. Read more scriptures, pray at a certain time during the day, give up something and maybe do a good deed in the name of Christ. Basically, I was spinning wheels.
I finally realized after growing and maturing as a Christian that God always hears my prayers but the answer may be hindered for a myriad of reasons, i.e., sin in my life, God working out the details of the request or maybe even waiting for just the right time, His time. How peaceful it is to know that I can pray at any time day or night and without question know that my Heavenly Father is hearing it before it leaves my lips. Chances are, He heard it before I knew to pray it.
Today you can turn on the television, internet or radio and hear the daily statistics of job loss and looming economic disaster. It is very disheartening, especially when my own family and friends are affected by the ever growing numbers. I thank God every day for the job I have but I
also know that nothing, absolutely nothing, is for certain. Which brings me back to the original question, What if I had to fill out an application to get into heaven and I had to answer the question: How did I live?” How would I prepare for the interview? Would I have to list my skills? Would I need to give references? Can you even fathom what you would need to
include in your resume?
To most Christians, this thought is utterly absurd. We know that there is absolutely nothing that
we can do to earn our way, to beg our way or impress our way into heaven. Bottom line, it is not about anything we can do but all about what He has already done for us. He has a list of our skills, the gifts He bestows on each and every one of His children, none of which can be used to earn our way to heaven. He already has our references, as a matter of fact, there is only one name. Jesus Christ. Without His reference, you do not get into the Kingdom. He has already written our resume with Christ blood. And last but not least the only question He will ask is whether our name is written in the book of life. And we do not even have to answer, Christ will answer for us.
So what does spinning our wheels or really living has to do with the question, I pose at the beginning? One of the most important questions you should be able to answer is where will you spend eternity? Where will you go if you were to die today? Because you know we all go somewhere! We will either go to heaven where will live with God for eternity or we will be eternally separated from God in a place, God calls hell or Hades.
The second most important question you should be able to answer is how will you live what’s left of your life on earth? Will you live it selfishly looking out for yourself, living in bondage under the tyrant king of sin, in essence spinning your wheels? Or will you live in freedom from sin with purpose and meaning for the greater good of others? Will you really live?
May God give you the ability, wisdom, and courage to really live!
With much grace