Most people live their lives like they will end some day. Yes, that’s right. Can you imagine? I mean what are they thinking?
They’ve never really thought very deeply about it, and it seems to hurt their brains to even come to any firmly held beliefs about it, much less contemplate the consequences of their dull-wittedness. So let’s think about it for just a moment, shall we? Here’s another perspective.
Life is a dress-rehearsal.
That’s contrary to the message in that beer commercial you may have seen. It said the opposite – “Life is not a dress rehearsal, so grab all the gusto you can.” See what I mean? It never occurred to you that the people who wrote that stuff had a particular world view. Their assumption was that this life is the only one we get, and that when our hearts beat their last, it’s over. No second chance. No reincarnation. No resurrection. We turn into worm food, and that’s that.
How sad. How tragic to think that’s all there is – that when your heart stops, that’s the end of you forever. And how much more so to think that life in the hereafter would not be worth living anyway. All we see in the world is decay. Every living thing gets old, then dies.
But is it possible that all we see is not all there is?
Suppose you are taking a walk on a warm day, when you see the sun glinting off of something to your left. You stop and investigate, and you find a diamond, bigger than any you’ve ever seen. With joy, you rush off, have it appraised and realize that you have just found a stone worth a small fortune.
Later, however, you read the account of a child finding a hidden entrance to a cave, which turns out to have been only a few feet from where you found the diamond. In it are discovered incredible riches. But much more than that, the cave is found to contain two secret keys – one to boundless joy and the other to eternal youth. You realize that you settled for a nice nest egg, when you could have looked just a bit more, and found the keys to boundless joy and eternal youth, with incredible wealth thrown in.
What if this life is just a dress rehearsal? What if this life is not the real life after all? And what if real life – the life that comes after this one – is mind-blowingly incredible? Are you really so sure it won’t happen that you’re willing to live your few decades of life without ever taking the time to investigate? Really?
My Bible, which I believe to be the human-penned but divinely inspired Word of God, tells of greater things to come. It tells of a future in which every person who ever lived on Earth will live again – and not in some amorphous form of disembodied spirit, but with real flesh and bone bodies. They’ll be like our bodies in some ways, but better. And we won’t be in some faraway place. We’ll be on Earth. But Earth itself will be better. In fact, all of life will be better. It will be the manifestation of what the Hebrew Nation called shalom.
Things here on Earth are not the way they’re supposed to be. Things here on Earth have been corrupted. And it’s my fault. Things here on Earth are not the way they’re supposed to be because of the sin I committed yesterday. And the day before that, and the day before that…
To say that it’s cold comfort that everyone else was guilty too, would only be partly true. Everyone else is guilty too. But that fact is no comfort at all. What is a comfort is that all things are being made right. Shalom will come. And all who seek it with all their hearts and minds will find it.
In fact the only people who will miss out on this most priceless of gifts will be those who arrogantly, or lazily, or stupidly say in effect, ‘That’s not for me. I’m just not into religion.’
Well, guess what. It’s not about religion. It’s about seeking the truth. It’s about getting around to really asking the biggest questions in life. Here they are:
- Where did I come from?
- Why am I here?
- How should I live?
- What is my destiny?
So get up off of that chair. Do some reading. Talk to some people. Look at the great philosophies, the great religions, and the great teachings of the ages. Check them all out. See if any of them provide answers to life’s most important questions. Then turn toward the one that does.
I pray that you will find the truth. And I’m confident that if you give it the effort it deserves, you will.