Sunday, 12 May 2013

Heaven Can Wait

I remember my childhood; poor but generally happy.  But as I entered my mid-teens nothing seemed certain anymore.  Most of the friends I had all went on their separate ways, mostly never to be seen again.  I wonder if any of them really remember me as I remember them.


I still haven’t made a success of my life, and still wonder what my future holds and what great plan God has in store for me.  In thinking such philosophical things, I either come to some conclusions or I just end by asking myself even more questions, which equally lie unanswered.  And it’s a general curse of humanity that we all have so many questions but rarely ever any satisfying answers.  Evolution?  Creation?  From apes?  Or specially created?  6000 years old?  Or unfeasible billions of years?  A reason to it all, or just empty meaninglessness?  I wonder if God cast out Adam and Eve out of Paradise because they wanted knowledge that was beyond them, or they just asked too many questions? 


It has sometimes felt that I have journeyed strange voyages alone and my consciousness and certainly my imagination has gone to places strange and wonderful.  And I’m not talking about going the supermarket!  No, I mean that sometimes I feel that I am the only one asking questions; of course we all have questions but it seems that no one wants to hear them, seemingly no one even believes you should be asking them and few if anyone can really answer them.  And sometimes the people we expect to be trying to answer them, are the ones who seem the most reluctant to do so.  As someone said about organised Christianity ‘we have all the answers, but don’t ask any questions!’, and because some, but certainly not all, Christians are cowed into accepting and swallowing what those in power in the churches say without question, the only people who are asking genuine and meaningful questions about Christianity and belief in general, even if for the wrong reasons and intent, are atheists.


We need to take back the debate and Christians and those at every level of organised Christianity need to accept that we want to talk about contentious issues, we have questions and we should talk about them in an open, honest and meaningful way.  We need more democracy in the organised denominations too, less hierarchy, less of an obsession with social status and more genuine grassroots participation.  It shouldn’t just be about particular denominations so much even, but perhaps meeting in houses or pubs or cafes, places where other people already go; well, it’s just a thought.  What I’m saying is that a reappraisal of organised Christianity can’t hurt, and rather than something from top as usual, it should be about all Christians.  The age of the Internet proves that many people have a voice and are increasingly being heard.  What church do we want?  Should Christianity reflect the Internet age?  Are we preaching to the converted?  Is Christianity fuddy-duddy and frankly too Middle class in England?  I don’t have all the answers but I truly wish these and many more questions would be asked.  And we may ask the most important question: is Christianity religion?


Is there a fear amongst those who believe in a particularly organised Christianity that if we strip away the religion, the ritual, the hierarchy that there will be nothing left?  What would be left would be at least relationship; at the very least this would be an interesting proposition.  I sometimes think that some people are religious because they want to keep God at a distance: ‘I’m holy enough God, I do all these religious things, so back off!’ or words to that effect.  What I mean is that sometimes the adherence to religious rituals and dogma may actually be because deep down a person has doubts, or they fear a deep meaningful relationship with God, so settle for something less, which is where religion comes in perhaps.  But to me religion at best is like telling a hungry person to sit at a table full of food, and then being told not to eat.  Do people fear the sheer simplicity of relationship, that something so profound yet essentially simply is just too good to be true?  I wonder.

We are all destined for Heaven as Christians; aren’t we?  I have been thinking about this for a long time now, and admit that sometimes I feel a little confused about it all.  What is Heaven?  Where is Heaven?  I don’t worry too much about the details but I want to live my life fully on earth before worrying about anything else that I don’t really have any control over.  Don’t we all worry about things now and then, and some of us find we are worrying all the time; that can be exhausting can’t it, just worrying because even if you try to stop, then you are worrying about worrying!  Oh brother!  Yes it’s a pain, but what can you do?!  For me, Heaven can wait.  I haven’t even lived my life yet.  As John Lennon once said ‘Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans’ and it’s the truth, we can’t live in a constant state of worry or even anticipation, we have to do mundane things sometimes, go the supermarket, watch a bit of telly, feed the cat, iron our clothes and so on.  Life in all its glory and mundanity; we can’t escape either so why bother worrying?


  1. I agree with you Tim when you say what is the point of worrying, that's right, it doesn't change a situation. When you say about how many times you ask yourself questions though, I would have to say that can be just as bad as worrying. I remember when I was in real distress over wanting to know the answer to something. In the end it was as if God said to me 'You've asked everyone else, now ask me', which I did, and then the answer came.

  2. Calling Frank! I got an email telling me that you'd posted a comment to this particular blog post, but for some reason it hasn't registered; can't think why and that has never happened before. Technology hey?!

  3. Interesting post Tim. I will echo what Brenda said. Worrying is pointless. And when you mentioned in your post, 'worrying about worrying" lol,that can happen too. It seems so crazy all of it. There are times I have questions and I have noticed I usually never ask people before I ask God. If I have something on my mind that I am confused about, I ask God to open my understanding so that I can comprehend His words. Luke 24:45. Pretty much all the answers to what we need to know about life right now is in scripture and if we come across something we don't understand we can simply ask God. I have learnt it's best to seek His council. Just like Brenda mentioned, after asking God, the answers come. The answers come in many different ways. Sometimes it may literally just pop into your head when your putting butter on your toast, or you can be in a conversation with someone and the answer pops up. You didn't even ask a person what you were perplexed about and there you are in a conversations with them and they're talking about it and have the answer. God's amazing.

  4. Tim, after reading what Sateigdra said I thought 'Do I put another comment here and tell Tim that is exactly right, and that I have even had answers in dreams?' So I just did. Tim, God is much bigger than the human mind could possibly imagine.

  5. Hi Tim,

    Seems like you have a lot of questions. Questions are good because the more you ask, you leave room for God to move. Here is a neat book on Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I thought he did a nice job here. Although nobody can really know exactly what Heaven is like until we get there, I think he did a great job pulling out Scriputre to help us see heaven clearer.


  6. TO EVERYONE: thanks for all the very interesting replies; I get some of the best answers from comments to my post, and God is then answering them in that way too.