This world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever. – 1 John 2:17 NLT
Our body is but a shell for our spirit, or a tent or a wrap, or whatever you wish to call it. The wrapping doesn’t last forever. It gets sick, gets old, breaks down. Our bodies are only temporary, housing our spirit for a short period while experiencing life here on planet earth (a mere blink on heaven’s watch).
Our body is another one of those gifts from God. If we take better care of our bodies, we might possibly live longer, live healthier lives, even have a better quality of life – if we have strong, fit, lean bodies. (I’m actually trying to talk myself into this, as I need to lose a bit of poundage, get my rear in gear on that treadmill and quit eating Christmas cookies!) Also, if we take better care of our bodies (and I know this is important to so many of you, but here in Mississippi…well, we are still the fattest state in the nation, sad to say), it is to thank God for one of his many gifts to us.
This life on earth is a test run (Mr. Warren refers to it as preschool). It’s a try out before you make it to eternity. Which will yours be? You only have two options – heaven or hell.
Now, I know people who do not believe there’s a hell. I KNOW there is a hell. God tells you there is a hell. I’m telling you there IS a hell, but don’t listen to me. Listen to God. You don’t wanna question that man. He is loving and forgiving, and he also gets angry when people don’t do as he commands, but hey, life is full of choices and you are free to make your own. I just ask that you be careful in those choices. I want (and God especially wants) you to be happy and free and in heaven one day. No, I don’t do everything God commands. I mess up every single day of my life! I cannot make it one day without screwing something up, whether it be saying something I shouldn’t, being quick to anger over something trivial, or checking my personal email at work one too many times. I’m quick to ask God’s forgiveness, and sometimes humans, too.
How you live your life now will decide where you end up. Being a good person isn’t enough. It’s a good thing, but it is simply not enough.
That last paragraph that begins on page 40 – read that again and again and again! Does it help you view life a bit differently? I believe I’ll read that every single day, just to remind myself (I’m so forgetful and THAT is a great daily reminder.)
I love Mr. Warren’s analogy (p. 43), “Just as the nine months you spent in your mother’s womb were not an end in themselves but preparation for life, so this life is preparation for the next.” Don’t you totally get that?! This life on earth is only prepping us for life in eternity, and how we live our lives every minute of every day (from every word that spews from our lips – to every decision we make – to how we react to that hateful, rude person who just lost his loving wife from cancer) is constantly deciding our future in eternity.
“How you relate to God now on earth will determine where you spend eternity. If you develop a relationship of love and trust in God through his Son Jesus Christ, you’ll spend the rest of eternity with him.” Simply put – Know who Jesus is, what he did for us and why. Love him.
Mr. Warren asks, “Since everything has eternal consequences, what is one thing I should stop doing and one thing I should start doing today?” Several things come to mind. First thing that pops to mind is being so angry (not all the time, but a lot of the time). I’m so quick to anger. After the
hissy fit, episode, situation has calmed down a bit, I can see how I have hurt someone, including myself. I’ll get angry at God and have words with him, or Hallie, or even be angry with myself, for whatever reason. At the moment, I usually think it’s a good reason. Afterwards, I realize I overreacted, which I don’t get, since no one in my family overreacts. 😉 At least I’m quick to apologize and they are quick to forgive. That doesn’t change the fact that I acted in haste. It doesn’t change the fact that I hurt that person. I’m forgiven and that’s great and all, but it shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
What will I TRY to start doing? Trying to be silent. Talk about difficult?! When I am faced with a potentially harmful engagement such as a raised voice or unmentionable words or spouting out blame, accusing; possibly or probably hurting feelings, including my own (after it’s all said and done), I need to first be silent for a bit, choose my reaction meticulously, instead of instantly reacting.
Now, sometimes, depending on the situation, anger is warranted and you have to let it out. Even God and Jesus got angry. Cities were destroyed. Tables were overturned and such. Sometimes, anger is necessary but I believe we are all smart enough to realize when it is needed and when it’s just REALLY not.
Mr. Rick Warren writes his book with such grace and love and it reads easily, doesn’t it? It’s most welcoming.
It’s Friday Eve, you guys! Getting a little closer to that glorious weekend. Yea! It’s a new day, though, and it has potential to be a great one, so go out and make it great – even if you only got 5 hours of sleep, or less (helping kids with school projects is always fun, isn’t it?)! Love you!