Do I try and live a Christian life in order to not burn for eternity? Am I merely playing the odds and figuring I might as well not chance there being a God and getting on his bad side? Or is there a method to this madness that doesn’t involve me trying to escape the eternal clutches of Hellfire? (Quick note on Hell…do i believe in it? Yes. The number of souls that are within it? Another story….0? 12? 189,056,879? A post on this topic soon. Maybe). Do I try and do good so people will think of me with higher regard? Think of me as a good guy? Do I love only for the love I hope to receive in return?
Or am I being proactive and not reactive? Am I trying to operate in the capacity closest to what I believe we were created to do? Am I trying to help people in need because of the need and not because I need them as another layer between me and the Devil? Am I attempting to write a post using all questions?
My point is this: there is such a thing as giving for the sake of giving. Living for the sake of living. Loving for the sake of loving. Some things are inherently good, and the good inherent in me drives me to strive for them. Now, do I ever reach my goal? Never. Not fully. But could the knowledge that I have the potential to impact others for the better be more of a motivator than trying to avoid an eternity of torture?
Yes. It is the greater motivator. Maybe not to everyone all the time. And perhaps pragmatically not as effective on the surface.
But give me the tiniest sliver of humble hope and grace over the most grandiose form of action fueled by fear. Any day. How much more focused will our lives be if we know what we are shooting for?
For example: say I set out on a journey. To Safeway. As I walk out my front door and begin my trip to the grocery store the only information I know is the fact that Safeway isn’t where Walmart is. That leaves me with an almost infinite number of destinations I could end up at. What should be a ten minute trip turns into potentially hours of aimless wandering. But its ok! Because I didn’t end up at Walmart!
A frivolous metaphor I know, but I think it demonstrates my point effectively.
Yes, we are fallen. We are broken. We screw up. We fail. Then we find redemption. Faith restored.
And then we screw up again.
But despite all this we do have power! Power meant to accept a direction and pursue it, not holding back at all. The very image of our existence begins to wane and pale once we lose focus on living and start focusing on avoiding.
Whatever your circumstances, live them. Whatever your beliefs, believe them.
Fight for the love of what you stand for, not for the hate of what you don’t.