A FRIEND OF MINE asks God the same question I would ask if I got the chance to ask God just one question.
I asked readers who follow my Facebook page what they would ask God if they were allowed to ask just one question. My friend, Erin Cottrell, asked this question (and gets a free book for it; Erin email me and I’ll tell you what books I have):
“Does it really turn out all right in the end?”
That reminds me of the grave marker that used to show up once in a while on the graves of Romans 2000 years ago:
I was not. I was. I am not. I care not.
If people who put that on the grave markers were right, everything turns out just fine in the end. We end up dead. Nothing to worry about. We just go away, and we are as gone as we were before we were born. And then we care no more or less about it than we did when we were only a twinkle in our daddy’s eye.
In my moments of doubt, I ask a question very similar to the one my friend Erin asked.
My version: “Did we get it right?”
I sometimes look out of my office window up at the sky and toss that question out to God. I’m not asking if we got it right for him. I’m asking if we got it right about him. I’m asking if the Jesus story is right, if Christianity is anywhere close to being right, and if we really do live on after our bodies die.
Does it really turn out all right in the end?
I don’t know. I haven’t been there and done that. Nor have I talked with anyone who has.
But I am betting on it. Betting my life.
I’m not betting on it just because I was raised in the church and I’m following teachings that have been brainwashed into my head. I am fully capable of reprogramming my brain. I have washed out some of the crap that was put in there by Christian Pharisees who made up rules they expected everyone else to follow. I could wash out Christianity, too, if I considered it a steaming pile of horse manure.
But the Jesus story is compelling. And the evidence of his story seems pretty doggone solid to me.
He certainly convinced some of the first century writers.
- “Anyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “Because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God.” (Romans 5:1)
Most Christians say they believe everything turns out all right for only those who put their faith in Jesus.
Other Christians, however, broaden that. They say that in the end everything turns out all right for everyone.
For evidence, they point to this Bible passage:
“All the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.” (Colossians 1:20)
I cannot tell you with 100% certainty who got it right.
- Progressive-minded Christians who see everyone getting saved.
- Tradition-minded Christians who see only Christians getting saved.
- Roman gravestone writers who saw only everyone getting dead.
I am hoping that some variation of Christianity is right. I am betting on it. I am counting on it. I am looking forward to it.
- Not just because of what the Bible says.
- Or what preachers have drilled into my head.
- Or the near-death experiences I have researched.
- Or the seemingly supernatural events reportedly experienced by some of my family members and close friends.
- Or the one pivotal, spiritual, seemingly mystical moment in my own life – a moment that serves as strong spiritual anchor for me (maybe someday I’ll tell you about this).
But it’s also because I have what seems to be an innate sense of immortality, as though my spirit is trying to assure my brain that when this body dies this life lives on.
If not, and the Romans got it right, then when I am not. I will care not.
But I’m betting they got it wrong, and that I most assuredly will care, and will be happy I cared.