“This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
First, I want to make decisions based on a faith that there is something coming after this life – something bigger and better. But I don’t mean to exist now simply to earn a big, fat reward later – a huge grand prize! In fact, I believe that if something big and amazing is going to come later then – I believe – I can probably start experiencing some of what is coming – now! If I want to be with loved ones after I’m done here then why not start enjoying fellowship with family and friends now – a small taste of the afterlife right here now on earth? If I want peace when I am done here then why not experience some of it now – live as a person of peace with an attitude of peace? If I believe that people won’t cheat, lie, and scam me later when it is all over, why not hook up with people and do business with people now who won’t cheat, lie, and scam me? If I hope for a time when there will be no drama, gossip, and shame, then why not look for and associate with people who are not all about drama, gossip, and shame now?
And so forth.
I can’t explain exactly what it will be like later – all I can use are metaphors and ‘it’s like’ statements – but I do believe that what I expect later can manifest itself partially even now – if I look in the right places and make the right decisions and have a good attitude about these things. No, I don’t expect it to be perfect – probably far from perfect. But I can experience and get glimpses of what I believe my afterlife will be like and look like by being with people and being in places that I think mirror – if only slightly – what the next life will be like.
God is something I can’t quite put my finger on – is it someone or something or both? And many will now proceed to explain what they understand their Bibles to say “to us” – it’s absolutely clear, of course – or tell what others have told them about God or explain what their faith tells them about God. I get it all – please – I really do. But I honestly and fundamentally think we actually – instead of knowing more about God – are, instead, limiting God by thinking that we can study and explain and put our finger on who and what God is. If this God can be explained, then he isn’t the God that I want to have any faith in.
You see, the God in my head is awesome and huge and amazing, but those are just human words and ideas that do not satisfy me at all. I, instead, want a God so big that he will blow my socks off with things that my mind can’t even begin to comprehend. This is the size and shape that my God needs to be for me – so incredible that he can, in fact, do things beyond anyone’s explanation or imagination. My God needs to be this big else he is nothing more than a conjurer of fantasy and a manipulator of human emotions – any snake oil salesman can conjure and manipulate.
Of course God can love and care and feel our hurts. This is an essence and vastly important characteristic of God. But God is capable of so much more – how can that be? And when he is loving me and caring for me individually – it is all I need sometimes – he is still running the universe and managing all the hurts and cares of the other billions of people on earth and…
Where does it stop?
How do I want to make decisions in the future? Well, I partially want to make decisions that allow me to get a glimpse – just a glimpse – of this entity – this someone and something – who keeps the eternal universe running and who is the eternal universe. All in one.
“I am the Lord God. I rule the world, and I can do anything!” (Jeremiah 32:27 CEV)