The darkness starts seeping into my brain; my thoughts become as rushed as my breathing. Breathing. Yes. Remember, I have to take another one or surely the darkness will take over everything I have.
Inhale. Don’t forget to exhale.
Okay, I’m still alive.
I’m going to miss Jane. I’m going to miss her beautiful silky, cornflower hair that she always braided to the left when she was anxious. I’m going to miss her calm, soft eyes; eyes that were as blue as the deep sea and as bold as her snarky tongue. I’m going to miss the way she pushed my buttons with her high-pitched snark; I’m going to miss the way she comforted me without saying anything. I’m going to miss her snore and above all else, I’m going to miss her love; her quiet and insistent love.
But it’s okay. I’m going to heaven.
Everything has led up to this moment. It’s been my eternal goal.
Shit. I forgot to inhale. Shit. I said a curse word. Hope, God doesn’t hold that against me.
Sure, I’ve been a dick to plenty of people, but God forgives. Sure, I headed a rally to stop those gays from marrying, but it’s in the bloody Bible.
Everything I have ever worked hard for, spoke out against, has been for this moment. My divine reward.
It’s getting darker. Damn. I should have told Jane I loved her more.
I should have let her be who she was. So many bloody mistakes.
Oh, well. I have my divine reward.
Oh, God, I’m REEAAADDDYYYYY.
It’s getting dark. Oh, it’s so dark.
Wait, am I dead? No. I can’t be. I don’t feel anything?
Am I breathing?
Where am I?
I don’t see anything. No harmonious sounds. No one meeting me at a gate.
I’m just left in darkness. With my mistakes. My guilt.
Where’s my divine reward?????
If I had a nickel for every time I heard a Christian say “they can’t wait to get to heaven” or “everything I do is for my eternal reward” I’d be one heck of a rich woman.
Ultimately, this fraction of my faith are playing into those that are critical of Christians, and that is everything they do is for a divine reward.
You know, they are ONLY being a person of upstanding character because they want that reward, which, by the way, is the worst kind of person out there. Seriously, the ONLY reason you’re – hopefully – giving to the poor, loving the unloved, giving endless mercy and grace is to RECEIVE a divine reward!?
That has to be the most selfish b.s. I have ever and will ever hear.
And ultimately, if that is a person’s motivator, they are going to be shell-shocked when they die and realize there may not be a heaven.
Personally, I believe there is a heaven, but not the one that the mainstream Christian thinks of: there will not be a huge brass band awaiting your arrival, no puffy white clouds, no smoking reefer with Jesus, no enormous buffets of endless chicken wings (though, this would be my ideal heave 😀 ) and so on and so forth.
Rather, my belief of heaven is just a tranquil and peaceful state — an ultimate sense of divinity that can be shared with your loved ones.
Putting that aside, I think it’s one of the greater crimes of any faith that believes in a divine reward to use that as your motivation to facilitate being good and empathetic in life. In fact, it’s probably more indicative of your crappy human being-ness that you have to utilize a motivation to do this.
Why would one need motivation to be a decent human being? Really?
Think about it, do you need a divine reward to help the poor and homeless?
Do you need a divine reward to love the unlovable?
Do you need a divine reward to treat everyone with humble grace?
Do you need a divine reward not to inflict hurt on the insecure and vulnerable?
Do you need a divine reward to extend forgiveness?
Do you need a divine reward to speak out for the ostracized?
Do you need a divine reward to facilitate tolerance?
Do you need a divine reward not to be a total jack-wagon???
While, this is an odd post for Good Friday — I could have easily talked about my own reflections on this day – I think it’s a vital message to Jesus of Nazareth.
He spent his ministry calling out the religious and the hypocrites — and I think those folks who use a divine reward as the only justification for their behavior are both religious and hypocritical. After all, it’s to be assumed (maybe sans absolutism) that they will also preach how others should “turn away from their sins” and “embrace Jesus” when, in fact, they haven’t truly utilized Jesus’ message.
What is his message?
Be a radical for something bigger than ourselves.
Not being like the religious behind the pulpit, on the t.v. screen, in a classroom and making a grandiose show of God and at the end of the day, doing the complete opposite.
At this point, I’m just rambling (which is my norm), but I’d pressure any believer in Christ to self-examine their motives in correlation to their actions.
Becoming a more empowered, positive, independent thinker and increase my upwards trajectory in understanding and following in Jesus’ religious liberating path.
That’s my motive? What’s yours?