Reflect on Eden While Dying to Get to Heaven
When you get overwhelmed thinking about debt and deadlines, your worry can stretch to include things that don’t involve your money or even you personally. When this happens, it’s time to go to God’s Word with a specific plan.
- Read just the first two chapters of the Bible.
- Immediately follow that reading with the last two chapters of the Bible.
Those four blissful chapters are the opening parenthesis and the closing parenthesis of your experience of Life as a Christian.
Living Life In Between
I don’t mean to get unnecessarily grammatical. But I want to paint a picture with the following example:
(This sentence exists between the opening parenthesis at the beginning and the closing parenthesis at the end.)
The first two chapters of Genesis are the opening parenthesis of Human Existence, and the last two chapters of Revelation are the closing parenthesis of The Story of Humanity as we know it.
In the beginning was bliss. Unsullied beauty. Life with no death. Creation. Initiation. No pain and No problems.
At the end—or in the new beginning—bliss is promised, too. Jaw-dropping beauty. Life unending. Tear-free. Light-filled. No pain and No problems.
Financial stress doesn’t stay tucked away in a separate compartment in your brain. When money worries start to simmer in your mind—then get left unchecked—they will boil over into other parts of your life and then spill out to include other people’s problems until your anxiety is out of control!
Your car breaks down, but you have no emergency fund.
You don’t have enough cash to buy necessities, so you live off your credit cards.
A friend is promised the gift of a house. Her relative assures her of financial support for the purchase. She gets her hopes up and researches places to live. Then her relative backs out of the deal.
A co-worker losses her longed-for child through miscarriage.
A friend’s former spouse disregards the Court’s appointed parenting plan.
A community leader appears to be trustworthy. When the truth of the goings-on in his organization is revealed, your entire community reels from his disloyalties.
Bullies attack and go unpunished.
Criminals steal and rape and kill.
Children featured on the news grow suddenly ill with a sickness that devastates their small frames, confuses their thinking, and eventually takes their lives.
Life In Between The Parenthesis Is Hard
That’s why it’s so important to skip ahead to the ending every now and again. Remind yourself that the time of No Pain and No Problems is coming.
A close friend of mine and reader of Locusts Ate My Orgasms recently “confessed” that halfway through the book she chose to skip ahead to the Afterward to ensure herself that things turn out all right for me in my memoir.
I had to laugh. She knows me, and that book is my story. She knows that I’m doing well.
But somehow wading through the muck of the abuse perpetrated against me and reading an account of my own selfish and harmful actions against others led her to need a re-affirmation that it all turns out okay for me in the end.
“It’s like reading Revelation. I know we win in the end. I just sometimes need to see it in print.”
Looking Outside The Parentheses
When your financial problems seem insurmountable,
- when the problems of your loved ones overwhelm you,
- when the region where you live is turned inside out by scandal,
- when the news headlines frighten you,
- when you hurt as you watch children suffer,
It’s time to take another look at Life outside the parentheses.
Quickly follow that with a reading of Revelation, chapters 21 and 22.
It’s hard living life in the in-between space of your Bible’s bookends.
But on the other side of the closing parenthesis,
Life really will be better.
God’s promise, not mine.