As I lay down to rest my weary head one night after work I pondered the meaning of life.
Call after call had come in during my shift with people wanting to kill themselves and I wondered why we are all here anyway.
I looked back over my own life journey and it hasn’t been worth the train fare in many ways.
I can sum the whole 50 years up in three words – Victim, suicidal, and sacrificial.
In my formative years I was a victim. Emotional, psychological and sexual abuse were the flavours of my childhood with physical abuse thrown in now and then for some garnish. When I became a teenager I took up where the adults left off and repeatedly subjected myself to more of the same types of abuse. It’s probably not surprising, given the way I treated myself, that suicide became my major goal in life.
After the birth of my children I moved into martyrdom and tried to sacrifice myself on the pillar of motherhood. I felt guilty for bringing my children into the world and I suspect the guilt was triggered by knowing how much I resented my mother for inflicting life on me.
When my work as a mother was done I became even more suicidal but I knew suicide was not an option for me. My kids and my God wanted me to live and I could not let any of them down.
When I cast out the demon of suicide a few years ago my obsession with the topic went with it but I still wasn’t very fond of life.
Anti-depressants, a supportive and nurturing employer, and a solid commitment to trying to overcome depression has resulted in these last few years being the best years of my life so far but I still wondered why I was born and what the point of it all is.
The words of hundreds of suicidal callers came to mind.
“I just want to be happy!”
That’s all I really want too. The problem, it seems, is knowing what will make me happy.
I thought being a mother would make me happy and, in some ways, it did and still does but being a mother is not enough.
When I became born again and found God I thought my search was over but I ended up happier in some ways and unhappier in others.
I thought being married would make me happy but it was also a mixed blessing.
When I began my studies into psychology and started my career I thought having a well paid profession would make me happy but it’s not enough either.
I thought owning my own home, having a brand new car, being debt free, having money to spare would all make me happy but I have had all those things and, whilst they made me happier, none of them made me completely happy.
I’ve never hankered for fame, fortune, being ruler of the world or stuff like that so what the heck is it I am searching for?
As I lay there, trying to work it out, the words of the psalm ran through my mind.
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
The psalm made me think of the caller who used to recite it to me and how he has gone home to his real home. Heaven.
Like a bolt of lightning illuminating the sky it came to me.
The valley of the shadow of death is this world! This life is just one section of my journey and what I want, what will make me happy, is to move on to the next section!
I want to go home too. I want to live in a world filled with nice people! I want to live in a world where one life form does not have to eat another life form to survive.
What I want, what will make me 100 percent happy, is to live in a perfect world filled with perfect people. A world without greed, selfishness, sickness, pimples, dieting, poor eyesight or anything negative and I am not going to find that here!
I want to live in a body that doesn’t get old or sick or fat. I want a mind that doesn’t suffer from depression or push me into addictive behaviours.
I want to be able to sing and have everyone in the room join in, to dance and have everyone around me start dancing too, to laugh and hear everyone else start laughing too.
It’s sad but it’s true.
I want to be a perfect person living in a perfect world and now I realise it can happen. There is a world like that and its name is Heaven.
Some day I will go there.
I have my passport. Jesus is my passport. All I have to do is hold on to my passport and find my way through this valley to the other side.
The rod and the staff really DO comfort me because I know God uses them to make sure I do not stray from the path and lose my way as I journey through this dark and dangerous valley!
Adam and Eve had it all but they didn’t know what they had so they threw it away. They broke the rules and got thrown out of paradise and now we, their descendants, have to find our way back.
For the first time in my life I thought about what heaven would be like. I’ve never really thought about it before. I just assumed it would be boring. Harps and halos and wings and clouds sound boring to me. Who wants to live in a world without babies or sex or modern inventions?
I no longer believe that is how heaven will be except for those who WANT to live on clouds wearing wings and a halo!
There are people in this world whose idea of heaven would be to spend eternity as a baby being taken care of so there will be babies in heaven.
There will also be sex. The angels had sex organs. According to the bible some angels mated with humans which is where giants such as Goliath came from.
There will be modern inventions in Heaven too I think but only for those who want them.
What there WON’T be is rape or child abuse!
What there WON’T be is greedy politicians or banks or money making businesses. Electricity will be free because the people who supply it will be living out their idea of Heaven – supplying power that doesn’t harm the environment to people who appreciate them!
I will have a choice. I could live in a house hooked up to their power supply or I could just order my light bulb to shine at night.
If, of course, I decide I want to live in a house at all.
You can bet no snake is gonna talk ME into making any choices that might get me in trouble with God!
The meaning of life, according to me therefore, is so we can see the alternative to heaven BEFORE we move in! That way we won’t make the same mistakes the angels and Adam and Eve made.
It’s funny really. I have never looked at the destination before. All I ever focused on was the journey. Now I have looked at the destination I’m actually quite excited and the journey doesn’t seem so bad after all.
If it teaches me not to mess things up for myself when I get there I am all for it!