My father is one of the most religious people I know. He has read a libraries worth of books about theology, the saints, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body and so much more. His mind is awash with so many things it is hard for him to orchestrate a complete sentence without some religious overtone.
He hasn’t always been that way though, he used to be addicted to his work and the almighty dollar. He succeeded in life the way many people only dream. He started at the bottom of a multimillion dollar oil company and after 35 years proceeded to find himself in the corner office.
It wasn’t until after he “made it” that I think my father really began to look at his life in retrospect and realize the mistakes he made with his family and what had passed him by were the most important things in life.
His mistakes have crippled him. It’s as if my father feels as though Heaven is his only escape. Even though I know he doesn’t believe it, he feels as though he has to make up for the mistakes he made in order to gain entrance into heaven. My dad has always been one to fight hard to avoid the trappings of Hell. He fights so hard in fact that he doesn’t seem to enjoy or celebrate his journey to heaven.
The amazing thing about grace is that no one deserves it. I don’t deserve it, you don’t deserve it and my dad doesn’t deserve it but if we know and realize that God has extended the awesome power of grace to each and every one of us we can be humbled to a point where all we’ll want to do is be happy!
And why not!
Pope John Paul II had this to say, “People are made for happiness. Rightly, then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him. True joy is a victory, something which cannot be obtained without a long and difficult struggle. Christ holds the secret of this victory.”
My father’s journey through life has been a struggle, as has mine and everybody’s to some certain extent. We’ve all experienced pain of some sort and it’s HARD to get through.
The promise of Heaven is enough for me to enjoy my Journey from here on out. There will be hard times and there will be times when my faith will be challenged. I can accept that because I know Who holds the future even though I have no idea what the future holds.
Keeping my eye on the prize that is Heaven does make everything better. It makes it easier to love, easier to laugh, easier to live your life and be the human being that God made in his image.
How will your journey end?