Philosophies abound. Those who are believers, those who are atheists, and even those who are agnostics all have considered the subject of whether there is a God, and most have settled on a stance. Papers and books have been published–words by the tens of thousands–arguments and debates continuously resound throughout the world. In speeches and sermons, a consortium of thought is routinely examined as rationalizations and justifications for each belief is fervently discussed.
All who read my work know I am unequivocal in my belief that there is a God. Superior, everlasting, with no beginning and no ending is God: God, who created all things.
I am convinced that even if I should be wrong–that there really is no God, no Heaven, no Hell, no life after death–I still have chosen the better way. Consider with me that if it should turn out that my life, or yours, is no more significant than that of a loved puppy or a cherished stallion, and that when we are laid into the earth, it is truly the end. There is nothing else; no resurrection, no Heaven, no God, no Hell. Even should this be so (understand I adamantly reject such thought) I am yet convinced that my belief in God and all that view entails is the preferable way and would have given me a happier, more contented and fulfilled life than has the one who lived as a non-believer or as an agnostic.
Today I attended a funeral. It was a happy occasion. Happy? you say. Yes, happy. Oh, there were tears, and I know the family of Brother Kendrick are suffering deeply with inexpressible grief, and that the dull ache his leaving has ripped into their hearts is heavy tonight. Even so, even for them, there was happiness today at the funeral in Bakersfield, CA. For we are believers. We believe in Heaven and we believe in God. Heaven is a real place, and tonight Brother Kendrick has escaped the suffering of this world and is present with God. It’s a good thing to believe that. It is comfort. It is of such joy that today when hundreds of us sang hymns of the church, coupled with the sadness of our loss, there was a definite spirit of rejoicing.
Yes, it’s a good thing to believe in God, in the Bible, and in Heaven. It’s a good thing to share these beliefs with dozens and hundreds and thousands, so that when we are together–even as we huddle about a casket–we smile, and sing, and look into the eyes of our friends with that knowing, faraway look. One day . . .one moment . . . for each of us . . .
Not long after we moved into our home here in Crestline, our dear next-door neighbor, a gentleman now in his ’80s, said to us one day as we entertained him in our home. “I envy you.” He smiled as he looked at both Jerry and me. “I’m not a believer. I wish I were. I envy your faith.” Somehow Bill–an agnostic–understands that to believe is the superior way, the way of peace, of joy, and of happiness.
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