Thursday, February 17, 2011
On Sunday night we are having a little get together that our church calls a fireside (even though there is never any fire but whatever) where the youth and the youth leaders will learn/discuss a topic. We have these every other month or so. This month is on the afterlife.
I've been thinking about this topic a lot lately. I've realized that I don't really know if I believe in heaven and an afterlife. I'd like to, but I just don't know. So many people have such a surety of our existence after this life. I am not one of them. I find that I think of heaven more as a place that can give my mind rest, a place where I don't have to worry about the person who has passed away. And I seldom think about it until someone dies. And then I wrestle with the idea all over again.
And everyone has a different idea of what its like and who gets to go and what we do there when we're there. The baptists believe that we will see our family there but we won't know them as our family because we will all be family and it will be a type of paradise and we will busy ourselves by worshiping God, and that will make us happy. Mormons believe that you will still be married in the afterlife and have your family and that there are different levels of heaven and you go to the one that corresponds with your level of relationship with God and that we will busy ourselves by worshiping God through honoring Him through emulation. And don't even get me started on Hindu and Buddhist or especially Muslim beliefs of heaven. Suffice it to say, they all have very different interpretations.
I think it all sounds strange. People think that one interpretation sounds weird or the other, but the truth is - any type of understanding of heaven different than the one you grew up with and are familiar with probably sounds weird.
Anyway, we asked the youth to write down questions they have about the afterlife. You'd be amazed at the type of questions they have for being only 12 - 18 years old. These are deep and profound questions and ones that I, the supposed learned adult, still have. And while I hope that they find answers for themselves, there is a large part of me that wants to say to the authority we have coming to speak to us on the topic, "How do you know?" And maybe he will have an answer about faith or a sure faith that he understands to be knowledge, and maybe that works for him...
But I still don't know. And I fear that experience that would bring me to a faith in heaven. So for now, I'll just continue with my surface level faith of heaven and hope to learn from those who believe.
Do you believe in heaven? and if so, why?
Posted by jo at 8:35 AM