When push comes to shove, there aren't many religious people who truly believe in their religion. The litmus test is how a person feels about death itself.
Assuming you are a religious person, allow me to ask you a few questions:
Firstly, how do you feel about your own death? Are you afraid of dying or are you looking forward to it? Does death seem like a wonderful journey? Or are you scared?
How about any friends and family that you currently have that are dying? Are you happy for them? Do you think of that person lying at home or in a hospital bed, and smile to yourself? Or are you filled with a sense of dread and impending loss?
If you are sick, are you currently going to a doctor to get treatment? Or are you hoping to die as quickly as possible?
If you are religious, you should be happy to be getting sick, and happy for any of your friends
and family that are currently dying. It is God's plan. They will soon be nearer to "paradise".
Are you happy about death? If not, ask yourself, why not?
Please take a few minutes to think about this. It's serious stuff.
If you are in fact not looking forward to taking a dirt nap, could it be that deep down, you realize that you aren't really going to "heaven"? You realize that your religion won't really save you from death.
You are in good company. When Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago had cancer some years ago, guess where he went? He went to the hospital for some (sadly unsuccessful) treatment. Was the Cardinal trying to give God a little bit of a hand with his master plan? "Oh, God must really want me to live longer, but just doesn't have the time to cure my cancer. Poor old overscheduled God."
Or perhaps the Cardinal was just terrified of dying, just like most of the rest of us.
A religious person going to a doctor - that tells me that their faith isn't quite as rock solid as they might have hoped.
One more question: Have you ever been to a funeral? If so, was it a happy or sad affair?
If it was a religious funeral, shouldn't it be a happy occasion - a time for rejoicing?
Funerals that I have attended have been sad. Naturally, we all know, deep down, that the person has died. They aren't coming back, and we aren't ever going to see them again as we remembered them.
In our hearts, if we are honest, I think almost all of us know the truth.
PS - I have created the group "The Exit
" for further discussions on the cheery topic of death. All welcome. Let's get ready for the big event together :)