I posted this a while ago to Facebook, but the Spook of Kryasst who is also somehow magically Him magically inspired me to share it here too. My friend Scott asked me what the Christian heaven would have been like for me if it actually was for real, and what heaven means to me now. These are my thoughts. Glory!
My friend Scott asked me to paint a picture of what heaven would be like, if the Christian heaven were actually real, and what heaven on earth would look like to me right now.
I heard a lot preached back in my Christian days about how wonderful and awesome heaven was going to be, and for a short while there was a trend among popular TV evangelists to claim that they had visited heaven and to write books about it. Of course, the Christian public ate that up, and the TV evangelists made a ton of money off of their heaven fantasy books. I never really bought in to that, though, even though I was a hardcore believer at the time. It just seemed too convenient and like everybody was jumping on the “trip to heaven” bandwagon hoping to claim their share of that financial pie. Maybe I was beginning to WAKE UP to the fact that organized religion, in large part, is just a huge financial scam? But..that’s a topic for another time.
Anyway, my idea of Heaven when I was a very devout fundamentalist Christian believer was a place very much like an eternal Charismatic praise and worship service. Worship of God would always be occurring, and it always be and feel awesome beyond description. It would be TOTAL PEACE AND TOTAL JOY!! Of course, I always heard a lot about streets paved with gold and large mansions for us to live in. And Jesus, of course, would be there 24/7 (if heaven has an earth time schedule) for absolutely everybody, and He would meet our every need at all times without fail. And the scenery in Heaven, of course, puts Alaska or other incredibly beautiful spots on earth to shame.
My idea of heaven here on earth is somewhat different. Heaven to me now is standing up for science and reason and doing my part to make the world a better place by speaking out against fundamentalist religion. Heaven to me is BEING THERE for people who are questioning their religious beliefs and are beginning their journey out of the fundamentalist Christian cult and back to the REAL WORLD. For many people, that is a long and excruciatingly painful journey, and the psychological damage done by belief in concepts such as sin and by religious fears, and by emotional manipulation and abuse can literally take years to heal from. I LOVE to help people get FREE from religion, and that is heaven for me now.
Heaven for me also is helping others live healthier and more fulfilled lives. I am just beginning to get my health coaching business off the ground, and I know that these things take time, but I know it will happen for me if I put the time and effort necessary into it. If I can educate and motivate others to eat healthier and exercise in a way that is appropriate for them, then I am making a difference and that’s a “win” for both me and my clients. I also have some training for helping people deal with emotional and life issues, primarily by being a good listener and by asking what we call “high mileage” questions. Anyway, I am really looking forward to helping a lot of other people lead happier and healthier lives.
Alaska is a little piece of heaven for me. The scenery can’t be beat, and I love to get out in it, regardless of the season. Hiking and bike riding are fun in the summer months and occasional winter hikes and snowshoeing are fun during the winter months. I’m much more active outdoors during the warmer summer months, though.
Heaven for me too is visiting fun places in town, whether I spend any money or not. I eat out at Subway a few times a month, and thoroughly enjoy it. Visiting Bosco’s Comics and The Pack Rat Antiques store and Title Wave Books is always fun, whether I buy anything or not. And riding my bike to those places or out to the Dimond Mall is always a lot of fun too.
I’m already in heaven right here and right now on this earth! I don’t hope for another life after this one, nor do I feel the need for one. My friend Dan and I were just discussing how boring heaven would get if it lasted forever. Worshiping God? Sure, awesome for a while, if the Bible is wrong and God really is love as they claim. But, forever? It would get BORING! Hanging out with Jesus forever would eventually get BORING! Large mansions and golden streets would be awesome for a while, but eventually they would get BORING!
Life here on this earth is temporary, but that’s part of what makes it so GOOD! And now that I realize that it is quite temporary and that it can end at any moment, I realize the need to grab life by the horns and live it fully in the HERE and NOW! No one is guaranteed another day or even another second of life. Every single moment should be lived and embraced fully! When I am happy and feeling good, I embrace those good and positive emotions fully. Hiking, for example, makes me happy, and I do my best to soak up every blissful moment of it and I make sure to pay attention and soak in all of the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness while I am out there. When I am depressed, I feel that fully. When I am sad, I feel sad fully and let the emotions and tears flow, as I did recently when my mom’s wonderful and loving little dog Sally died. Her death hit us all really hard, and I cried and mourned publicly without shame. There is no shame in crying and no shame in publicly mourning the death of a loved one, no matter how many legs they happen to have.
My life is not perfect by any means. I have health challenges, chief among them right now being sleep quality. I have two doctors working with me on that issue and things are slowly improving. I am often tired from sleep deprivation, but that doesn’t keep me from still being happy and enjoying life. I need to lose about 30 pounds…again. Medication I had to take for a while for my bipolar disorder, chronic sleep deprivation, and poor dietary choices have put a lot of weight back on me in the last couple of years. But it is fixable, and I know that, and I intend to take care of it. But, even carrying that extra weight, I can still hike and bike for miles with no issues.
Heaven for me does not mean having a lot of money or having a life that is easy and free of major challenges. Heaven for me is facing life head on and facing the real world as it actually is, problems and challenges and all! Life has not turned out the way I thought it would when I was 18 years old. I could not have known at that time that I was severely mentally ill and that it would cause me very serious problems and many very unhappy years. But I am HAPPY NOW and I am so glad that I made it through those bad years. Now, I can help other mentally ill people feel better too. They are one of my major target markets for my health coaching business.
I am already in heaven. I don’t necessarily need another eternal life after I die. This life right here and right now is awesome! The very fact that it is temporary makes it that much more precious and that much more important to enjoy it while I am here and while I can!
Hope that makes sense. 🙂