Every Day We're Given The Chance To Avoid Traps And Advance Toward Christ
By Michael H. Brown
(Adapted from After Life)
We live forever! No matter how difficult and depressing life may seem, no matter how sad a situation may appear, there is always—literally—a light at the end of the tunnel!
But before we view Heaven we must realize that life is a test, a trial, and a battle. Every minute counts. We’re put on this earth to claim Christ’s victory. Every minute we’re given tests of our love, humility, and trust. Every day we face trials to see if we’ve gained patience and long-suffering.
In recent days, we've been focusing on supernatural events. That's because the supernatural is at the heart of our Church (however much it is neglected). It is to guide us. Every day we’re given opportunities to avoid the traps of Satan and advance toward the virtues of Jesus.
When we think of life as one big test, it becomes all the more meaningful. It makes more sense. It becomes exciting. When we see life as a challenge, those who suffer can comprehend their sufferings and those in pain—any kind of pain—now see it as a mere test that precedes eternity.
The problem in our times is that we try to find a material paradise. That’s not in God’s plan. There is no earthly utopia. Try as we might, we’ll never find perfection in the physical. Such thinking is a deception at a time of great deception, and at a time when mankind is on an incredibly materialistic course.
Life is a test. Everything about us from the moment of conception to our final breath is watched closely by Heaven, and at every juncture there are events that may seem minor or even trivial but can carry tremendous meaning.
The people we meet, the locations in which we live, the work we do, the relatives we have, and the places we go, are all rich in meaning. Every aspect of life counts. God doesn’t play with dice. There are no coincidences.
And there is no superiority. Everyone on earth is equal. Everyone is equally loved by God. Everyone is given tests and sufferings (though some sufferings are more visible than others), and everyone has the same chance to use the incredible opportunity of life to gain a splendid afterlife. Every moment is terrifically precious because every single thing we do, think, or say counts with God.
We don’t have this opportunity forever. Life goes by in a flash. While it may seem that seven or eight decades are a long time, to God a thousand years are like a single day (2 Peter 3:8).
Think about it. An average person lives about 912 months, or in the area of 27,750 days. Let’s break it down further and express it as approximately 665,000 hours or perhaps 40 million minutes. Think of the things you can do in a minute. Think of the number of thoughts you can have or words you can say.
Every tick of the clock counts, and forty million minutes further reduces to 2.4 billion seconds.
That sounds awesome, but to God such figures, such numbers, are child’s play. To a God Who can keep track of every single living creature on a planet, with more than six billion people, and trillions of other life forms right to the one-celled amoebas (and Who can also keep track of billions of other stars and planets), keeping track of our lives is certainly no big deal.
And that’s what He does: He keeps track of every single thing we ever do or say. He even records our thoughts. He watches everything that passes through our minds and monitors what we hold onto and what we reject.
We have responsibility we have for the priceless time we’re given on earth. Every moment that we live has tremendous potential for good or evil and every moment of life brings us closer to or takes us farther from God. Every minute counts. We can pray in that moment, we can love in that moment, we can praise God in the tick of a clock, but we can also latch onto
a hateful or lustful or otherwise damaging way of thinking and detract from our eventual judgment.
My point is that God wastes nothing and not a single thing we do is meaningless. God isn’t a cruel God. While death seems terrifying to us, once we look back from the afterlife we’ll see that it’s not a bad thing. It’s nothing to fear. In fact, as I said, it should be a happy experience. If we’re prepared, if we live the rest of our lives as God wants, if we’re in tune with the Holy Spirit, it’s not only a pleasant experience but an exhilarating one.
From the moment of birth all of us are given countless opportunities to do good and at the end of our lives, in a way we cannot fully perceive, God will instantly analyze how we have handled ourselves each of those 2.4 billion seconds and how much we have purified ourselves, how much we have risen above Original Sin. He will evaluate how much we have helped reclaim what Adam and Eve lost.
Life on earth is transient and passing. To find the best place in the afterlife, let me repeat, we must prepare every waking moment. There is never a second to lose. We need to start right now—this minute. Earth is merely a testing ground. We’re not to obsessively hold onto any aspect of personal life any more than we hold onto an old grammar school classroom.
Every day, in many ways, we find ourselves tested. We’re tested for our faith. We’re tested for our humbleness. We’re tested for our patience. Most of all we’re tested to see how much we love. With each personal trial our spirits grow and we have that much more understanding. With each successful trial we gain brighter heavenly apparel. It awaits those who have fought the good fight and who have loved Jesus.
There is nothing to fear for those who have followed His teachings.
As the Catechism says, “This mystery of blessed communion with God and all who are in Christ is beyond all understanding and description.”
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