Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pivot and Tooltime

When I'm browsing television during commercials, I'll often flip to Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton with about ten or fifteen minutes left because that is when he administers Bernard Pivot's Proustian questionnaire (I don't know why it is called such. Blame Wiki).

After waxing philosophic on Galaxy Quest, Lipton and Tim Allen did the question thing. I was very impressed by his answer to the final question: If Heaven exists, what do you want God to say to you when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? His answer, "I told you there was nothing to be afraid of."

Part of the lore of God's Mercy is that people who wouldn't enjoy Heaven don't have to be there. He is merciful because he spares them an eternity in what to them would be Hell. It is not just once that I've reflected on my feelings toward someone and concluded that they should be in Heaven and I don't like them.

John Rivera blogged on MySpace recently about his return to Hawaii and how Ellen White thought that might be much like what Heaven will be, yet it was just a place he didn't much care for, given its outside naturey stuff and tropical weather. He concludes:

Heaven is one of those crazy speculated places that I don't feel any of us know much about. I've heard there are gold paved streets and some trees and no seas, but other that, most of it is speculation. A lot of what I hear of heaven even scares me -- I hear there are going to be tons of people there that I may have to socialize with, and that there isn't going to be any steak. I want to go though. Even with all of those scary trees and squirrels, even if it's hot all the time and there isn't any snow, even if I'd be relegated to never living in the city again and have to be stuck in the forest for the rest of my life, I want to go. There's somebody I need to see.

So Heaven is scary. I'm scared of Heaven too; that is why I'm not taking steps to get there. There is also a line of thinking that Heaven begins here on Earth (it ends here too), and if you want to go to Heaven you should start practicing now. C.S. Lewis' The Great Divorce does much to characterize the personalities he thinks will and won't complete the journey to Reality. (It is a quick read if you are interested in this topic.) One foundation of a lot of those that don't make it is their selfishness.

I'm selfish. The irony is that one who wants for themself doesn't want the idealization of eternity, or can't exist in such a place.

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