By Andrew Middleton
Andrew Middleton is a community college professor, a licensed lay minister and Chair of St. Marys United Church Council
Faith has its ebbs and flows. A few years ago the main time I prayed was when I was in a plane which sat on the runway ready to take off. I asked God for safe passage to wherever I was going promising if I got there safe and sound I would try and be a better person.
Just over a week ago my mother passed away and this led to thoughts and prayers for her. As she had been ill for a while with very little quality of life, many friends and relatives made the comment “well she’s in a better place now”. My cousin shared with us the thought that when people die that a close friend of the deceased, who had already passed away, comes to meet them and helps them with safe passage into heaven. This always begs the question that goes through many people’s minds of what happens when we die. Is there life after death? We will never know for certain. As another relative of mine said you may as well believe in life after death, what do you have to lose?
Believing that one day you will go to a better place is comforting and gives you the freedom to live this life to the full. There is a joke where a man asks God if there is golf in heaven. God replies, do you want the good news or the bad news first. The good news replies the man. Well God says yes there is golf in heaven. What could be the bad news then the man replies? God says “You’re teeing off next Tuesday at 9 AM”.
Joking apart even if we believe in life after death it doesn’t mean that we want to go there any faster. A death in the family however does make one think of their own mortality. What it did for me was the following:
1. Wish that my mother was in a better place and believe that one day I would join her there.
2. Live according to the scriptures, (it doesn’t matter which ones, they are all very similar and in lots of ways mean that you are just a good member of society), get involved in community and make a difference in other people lives, believe and show that you believe that everyone has a right to a good and long life, that you can forgive those who have done wrong and move on, and finally (which each of the others requires) that every action you do is based on love for others and yourself.
3. Live every day to the maximum, you never know when your tee time win heaven will come up.
I try to keep these in mind every day, it doesn’t always happen, but each time I go too far off I remind myself of this and try and make changes.
It works for me and I hope it works for you to.