There are times that no matter how aware of our human connectedness we may be no one else can go with us. There are certain places we must endure perfectly alone. Mortality shakes our ultimate state of aloneness into sharp reality.
Moments of understanding this can lead to great fear. It is our ultimate end journey which no one else can share. No one else can go there with us. No one can ease the immeasurable weight of that transition into another world.
Some try to console themselves with fairy tale myths of the afterlife. Others do the same insisting life simply stops. Neither gets at the beautiful mystery and reality of our end, the perfect aloneness in reconciling our existence with itself.
What’s the exchange? How does the transition really go? One world at a time. And all we have are these delicate, utterly simple moments bearing the full weight of being. And in that perfectly alone moment, you guessed it, we are not alone.
For death has lost its sting. It is not an end in itself. It is a transition. It is a step in our necessary evolution to the next phase of human experience. It is our only way into the existence we can only now dream of and long for. It is real.
I am not suggesting some fairy tale “you call it” eternal existence full of whatever makes you temporarily happy now (sex, candy, video games, etc.). I am talking about a renewed, resurrected physical existence on a renewed, resurrected planet.
The “myth” of heaven is that it is somewhere in the sky. That God has abandoned his original creation in favor of a more ethereal one. This is not the actual teaching of Jesus or orthodoxy. He spoke of a new earth and “a place” he was preparing.
This place comes down and eventually settles on a totally renewed earth. The meek win. They inherit the new earth. It will no longer be expansion by force and power. It will be shared space in cooperative meekness with all of renewed creation.
For some it is simply too good to be true. Letting oneself believe in any sort of universal reckoning is a denial of our stark reality. Believing that somehow all the injustices of the world are righted, that the innocent saved, that the guilty punished seems fairytale-ish.
It is not. It is woven into our human fabric to have such a hope. To believe that somehow things do matter. Our actions and sacrifices to reverberate into some sort of eternity. We can sense our immortality. It is an obsession of our imaginations.
We write about it, sing about, and even using the word “forever” testifies to it. Now of course John Lennon’s words “Imagine there’s no heaven” also color our collective imagination. His point was to not let hope for an afterlife excuse a life poorly lived here.
Absolutely. A true picture of our eternal future, however vague, should inspire us today “as it is in heaven.” It should transform our sacrifices made and inform their eternal context. It should ultimate root our existence in this world to live really well (& full).