Saturday, November 29, 2008

An Advent Lesson 2008: Heaven help us if we continue to forget about this wonderful place

About 40 years ago, one of the most cerebral songs to come out of the Rock Broadway musical "Jesus Christ Superstar" was a lyrical masterpiece sung by the character Judas called ""Too Much Heaven on Their Minds."

It opened the smash production with the betrayer of Christ lamenting that the Apostles following Jesus were not paying attention to the politics of the times blocking Jesus' success as a political savior. Instead, the disciples were focused on how to get to Heaven and other, non-important spiritual stuff.

The exact opposite is afflicting America now. We in our busy, materialistic lives focus so little on Heaven, instead intent on making Heaven here on Earth with so many possessions and too many celebrities.

And that's why you have the Wall Street fallout and bailout, credit card debt up the kazoo and a people affixed too much on greed and glamour instead of real greatness through belief in a higher, better power and place.

A new friend of mine gave me a book this week entitled "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn. I've only made it through two chapters so far, but its premise is so sound and timely, particularly as we enter the Advent season today.

We've forgotten about Jesus and Heaven as a real place to aspire to -- by how we act, the choices we make and what we value. Heaven is not really on our list of goals. And preachers prefer to lash their congregations with the horrors of Hell instead of the healing of Heaven and more.

The friend gave the book to me because the great difficulties now afflicting my life and a heartbreaking decision I had to make. But I had to make it out of gratitude to God for saving my life from leukemia. I owe God -- not that I could even begin to repay him for saving me but saving the world with his only son.

But Heaven is my No. 1 goal in life now. I'm no longer a newspaper columnist, so my career is over. I lost my dear cat of 18 years who helped me through so many struggles. And I lost of my mother in June, the person who got me into political writing and was as much a friend as a parent. I miss her so much.

Momma is now in Heaven, along with her three sisters, her mother and her husband(my dad). And my goal is to see her and all of them again by adhering more to the Almighty's will. So God has again chosen to mold me as I go through more brokenness in my life. But I deserved to be further humbled. Because too often, that's the only way God can get through to us.

He reminds us how much He loves everyone and how His will is direct and unmistakable if we would only stop and listen. God does not give people leukemia or send down tornadoes or unleash hurricanes. He instead gives us choice -- to react to these tragedies with faith or anger, with acceptance or denial.

He already has secured that place called Heaven for us through the death and resurrection of his son. So there is no need to mourn. Heaven is real. Heaven is wonderful. Heaven must be our ultimate goal.

I'll let you know more about Alcorn's book as I progress through it. And I'll let you know more about my life as I progress along the trail of brokenness toward a more direct path to Heaven.

No comments: