Tick, tick … the signal of a dawning New Year and there I was on my knees asking God to forgive my sins, those of omission and those by my own commission. No fireworks, no champagne, just natural light, as we prayed with artificial lights off in the few minutes of 2012. Was I where I wanted to be? Was this the best place for me?
Why not heaven? For if my Christian values determined that church was the ideal place to say goodbye to the old year and the old me and to greet the New Year and the new me, why not heaven? Isn’t that the destination hoped for by those on their knees in the dying moments of 2012?
Why not London?
Now that was show! Fireworks and all! But after five minutes, I was bored. Watching people waste so much money while thousands starve in Haiti or are exposed to disease isn’t my style.
I wanted to be on earth and on my knees, not in heaven if I had a choice. I understand earth, it is my comfort zone and please forgive me but heaven currently seems a boring place. Sipping milk and honey all day; listening to angels playing flutes as I lie next to lions too tame to show off their ferocious trademark roar, not my style; not where I want to start 2013.
Surrounded by uninterrupted natural beauty with no contrasting ugliness to help me appreciate the loveliness of the lovely seems to me like swimming in a pool of my favourite chocolate or living forever with perfect people whose dreams are always fulfilled without an iota of work. No challenges, how would I cope? Me, an earthling?
My world is painful, sometimes too painful, too inequitable but there is also joy and the in-between, which we call normal. My world is a mixture of haters, lovers; non-achievers, highflyers; perpetual dreamers, doers; adding the spice that makes variety normal. So here on my side of the fence, heaven seem abnormal, unreal.
But I believe in God and love his eternal peace more than the devil and his constant rage. So I sat in church praying to be a better person, one worthy of being in God’s presence, yet not wanting to see His face, right now. Working toward heaven yet holding on here as tight I can though I know the grip is not mine. Sounds confused. Well, the Jehovah Witnesses tell me that if I don’t belong to the 144 000 that will rule, I may stay on earth; so perhaps here is my place. Why believe them, I dismiss most of their teaching.
Anyways, I was in church; no better place to be when the clock chimed 12 a.m. on January 1. My alter ego injected my thoughts as usual, and accusingly as well. “If it wasn’t for the recession, you would’ve pay Bds. $999.00 (US$500) to watch fireworks with a half-dry throat at The Cliff but after enjoying the spiritual food, the church folk have provided earthly food, drink and socialising in the car park, so you opted for the cheap route, the affordable choice,” she said.
Logical but invalid! The recession premise is faulty,church does not come with a price tag, unless you unwisely count your collection. Can’t say exactly how much I gave. It was the never-had-a-husband mite.
But I agree what a great place to be at the dawn of a New Year … at church communing with – I assume- likeminded people. Heaven? Some day but not now.
(Postscript: do you too have struggles? Or, are you anxious to get to heaven and wish you were there now? Please, answer me below)