Look Around

Do you pay attention to other people? I usually don’t. It’s so easy to go about our daily lives without paying attention to anyone else. We push past them in the store with little more than a glance. Rarely does anything register beyond, “move faster”, or “get out of my way.” Just to be clear, what I’m asking is, do you notice people? Do you look at them and wonder, what do they do? Where do they live? Do they have a good marriage? What’s gonna happen to them when they die?

The other day I spent about 15 minutes waiting for a prescription to be filled, and during that time, I watched the people rushing past me. Most of them were in a hurry. One shopper briefly abandoned their shopping cart and the person behind them pushed it aside and shot one of those “you’re lucky I don’t kill you” glances her way. As I looked at people, I couldn’t help but wonder what their eternity was going to look like. Do they have any clue what happens after they die? No, I don’t think so. And then I thought of some of the friends I’ve made over the years and how I failed to share my thoughts on eternity with them.

What happens when we die? It’s going to happen to each of us. Dying, I mean. Guaranteed. What are the some of the options? Maybe nothing happens. You just go to sleep and that’s it. Maybe your energy is returned to the universe. That sounds sort of cool. Although by the time I’m old and die, I won’t have much energy to return. As I ponder these options, I think each assumes people are the result of some random event. We came to be, purely by chance. How lucky for us. When we die, that’s it. The end. I suppose this is the safest option. When life is over, no worries, it’s just over.

Some believe in an afterlife. Heaven, or simply a “better” place where there’s no pain and no hassle. Hell, if there really is such a place, is reserved for Hitler and Stalin, and really bad people. For the average American… Don’t worry about it. You’re fine. After all, we work hard, don’t hurt anyone, and are good people.

Many believe in reincarnation. A new life in a new form. I assume after you’ve died a few times you’ll have it all worked out. How do we prove any of this? Each option requires some sort of “faith”. Nobody ever died and came back with a definitive “this is what happens when you die” checklist. My belief system draws me to the Bible to sort out issues like this.

There’s a book in the New Testament entitled Romans. The apostle Paul wrote it. In Romans 1:20, it says, “ For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” What does that mean? I think it means the world, with all of its complexities, intricate design, and beauty provides evidence of a creator. The creation makes it clear that an intelligent creator, God, exists. It also makes it clear that people can’t pretend to be ignorant of him. He exists. He loves all of us. He wants us to spend eternity with him.

I encourage you to think about what you believe and why. Eternity is real long.

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