Monday, January 14, 2013
Heaven, such an interesting topic...
I love the girls I teach religion to.
They are 10th graders that are all so smart,
so good, each with a very different personality
and yet we have bonded as a group.
We had not been together since before the holidays
and with the bad weather yesterday, I wondered to myself,
why would I sign up to do this when, on an evening like that,
I could put on my pjs and watch a movie with the HOBL.
Then I get there, see all my girls also coming out in the weather
to be at religion and it all makes sense to me again.
Our small group lessons, when we meet just myself and
the girls with my helper, Meranda, we get into some deep conversations.
Yesterday the lesson is on Grace and justification.
These girls always surprise me on the way they share their
beliefs and doubts. They, like so many other teens and young adults,
struggle with this world and the cruelty in it as well as Heaven,
what is it? Last night the topic strays to that very thing, Heaven.
They believe in God, they believe in the goodness of Him
but they like us adults wants concrete evidence that there is
a life after death, they want to know there is a reason for all
of this praying, living a good clean life.
I share with them that even us adults, get frightened sometimes when
thinking about what happens after Earth.
When I ask them the question,
"When you think of the word holiness who do you think of"
all of them say their grandparents.
They proudly speak of how long most of them have been married,
how they go to church weekly, live and breath God.
We discuss why it's in older people we see holiness.
It is because they have lived a life, made their mistakes before
any of these kids could remember and have found their way with their
God, their faith has gotten stronger because they have had life
experiences that have brought them there.
I reassure my girlies that those same people have gone through the
trials of life and fears of death prior to getting where they are now.
That grace, that faith, we all can and probably will have it one day
if we continue to work on it.
I explain that we all can find that holiness, that faith,
to assure ourselves a spot in Heaven.
Then we begin to discuss Heaven. It's scary for them to think that maybe
there is no such place and we once again talk of the phrase,
"I WOULD RATHER LIVE MY LIFE BELIEVING
THERE IS A GOD AND DIE TO FIND OUT THERE ISN'T
THAN TO LIVE MY LIFE BELIEVING THERE
ISN'T A GOD AND DIE TO FIND OUT THERE IS."
They like this saying from the first time I shared it with them.
We also discuss a book I am reading right now,
a neurosurgeon, Dr. Eben Alexander
writes of his illness that caused him to have a view of Heaven,
turning an atheist physician to believe and write of the God he
now loves. My girls are interested in reading this.
They, like all of us, are searching for the faith they want,
to know that once their life here is done, they will be rewarded
with a place called Heaven.
I love my girls....