I’m Gonna Live Forever if I so Desire

In my youth, each day held endless possibilities.  There was more time then with every sunrise to sunset a plump blueberry in my childish eyes.  Living was joy and not assumed to be more than carefree.  Even then, however, I had a sense that life was more than time spent in its own pursuit.
While still a novice, I was serious-minded. 

It defies us to know why people are the ways they are.  Many things are related to genetic makeup which affects and enters into our choices.  While this is no excuse for bad behavior, it is a partial explanation regarding manifest characteristics.  In my case, serious thoughts came through training and observation.

I was raised in church and never considered it anything other than a privilege.  To be honest, I didn’t then identify with many youths who set the practice aside and find no commonality with adults who disregard God’s house today.  One can dishonor God’s house by lack of attendance or ineffective attendance.  The Words of God are truth and life.  I have believed this from a child.  It was through this institution (in consort with my family) that I came to view earthly life in eternal context.

The Bible teaches that we are everlasting from conception forward.  In other words, we never die in the sense of ceasing to exist.  We move from the earthly, mortal plane to one of eternal body and spirit in paradise or perdition.  While we are not god-like in the sense of beginning, we are akin to Deity in the sense of a frameless future.  I understood this in grade school.  Eternal life or eternal death lies ahead for us all.

Our little lives are parts of something bigger.  Some come to this realization sooner and some later, but everyone gets there eventually.  Certain will say that the “bigger something” is the social contract or being an asset to the planet, but the Christian, while not denying these obvious truths, will see their lives as pieces in the greater plan of God for the ages.  A part of that plan is God’s desire that each person come to know Jesus as Savior and have eternal life beyond their earthly days.

Into the plan of God enters the will of man.  A topic of theological import and irritation, how it is that God’s choice melds with the free, moral agency of humans will never be settled this side of forever.  In any case, the longing of God to redeem must join the kindled heart of a penitent for there to be salvation.  However put, desires meet and transform the individual making the new believer a child of God on the basis of Jesus’ sacrifice.

I do not completely understand how it was that the grace of God came into my heart accompanied by the desires to be His own, escape hell and inherit heaven when I was but seven years old.  In truth, I only know that these thoughts joined in my mind and were grasped by childish faith on a Sunday morning in Jacksonville, FL as I listened to my father preach the Word.  It was real then, and it is real today.

Without settling the intellectual aspects of divine and human determination, I read in the Bible that I may drink of everlasting waters if I will, and I come.  God wants me to be His own, and His will rings in my heart joining mine.  I can live forever if I desire.  And I do.

Sterl

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