There is much to be said about knowing we will be with God when we die. That’s our faith. Jesus died our death so we could live eternally in God’s Kingdom. Good news, no doubt. But does that mean our days here on earth have no meaning? Is being with God just a payoff for biding our time here on earth? Is heaven just a nice option to have when we die? What about life in this place? Does God matter much in our day-to-day in this world?
I guess the question is for me as much as it may be for anyone who reads this. I tend to live my life in the “if I can just get past…” mode. If I can just get past Charge Conference (United Methodist pastors know what I mean as this is a church’s annual meeting with our supervising elders known as District Superintendents). Ours just got done, so there should be relief and freedom. But, now I am on to, “Okay, if I can just get past the holidays…” The same thing happens in my faith, “If I can just hold on until Jesus comes or I get to heaven…” But is that any way to live? Is this what God intends – we manage as best we can and God will meet us on the other side?
The trouble with this “managing life” way of thinking is that I put life with God as a future event. It is so easy to get in a mindset where life with God begins when life in this world ends. As long as I have this life I need to make the best of it, on my own, working as diligently as I can to be a good person. It’s easy to live believing that ONE day, some day, things will be better, but for now I just need to hold on. For now I need to manage my life in this world so God will be proud of me when I get to HIS world.
Well, that’s where I need to remember – God wants me to have life NOW and later. Jesus came that I might have life and have it in great abundance. Today is the day to live in grace and enjoy life in Christ.
I just came from the memorial service for a young mom named Megan. She was 28 years old when she died of cancer. What I learned is that she lived in grace. She enjoyed knowing Jesus and doing what he wanted her to do. She lived ready to go be with him in heaven, but she also enjoyed as much of heaven as he would show her here on earth. And God showed her a lot of the joy of heaven during her short life. It’s not that she was special in that way, she was just ready to see it. She chose to live with Jesus every day. She chose to live in grace – not getting it all right, but knowing in Christ everything would be all right.
Living in grace is living in peace – no matter what life throws at you. I hope you choose grace today. I hope I do as well.
Holy high-five to you,