Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Burning Airlines should've made more records.

How often do you stop and think about how different your life could have been if you'd made different decisions? Sometimes when I'm feeling slightly inadequate I'll wonder what kind of career I'd be qualified for if I'd just suffered through two more years of school to get that degree. I didn't though, because I didn't know then, just like I don't know now, what I would've majored in and I didn't want to waste the money or time.

Sometimes I'll stop and wonder what life would've been like if Leah and I had never gotten together. I don't do this in a fantasizing type of way, you see. I do it because I like to take stock of how thankful I am for her. When I imagine that scenario, I can easily and realistically imagine how, without Leah, all the bad things in my life would've stayed bad or gotten worse and all the good things could've/would've eventually soured. It may sound cliche' but Leah can easily claim 95% of the responsibility for my happiness, productivity, and overall emotional growth over the past 6 1/2 years. All that to say, I love my wife and I'm thankful to her. It almost makes me wish I could believe in a personal god just so I could thank him/her/them/it for her.

Speaking of god, if you're reading this then I guess you're not a real Christian. Clearly, you haven't been raptured and according to this well reasoned website, you all should have been pulled up into Heaven two days ago on Rosh Hashanah. I guess we can logically entertain one of three explanations of why you were all left:
1. The first explanation is a real drag. You didn't believe enough or you believed the wrong thing. Man, that sucks.
2. The second explanation is way more fun and certainly the one that most will choose to believe. The people that made that website are either completely bonkers and/or got their crazy conspiracy math wrong. So when and if the real Rapture does take place you're still in the running for a place in the New Jerusalem. Congratulations, friend!
3. The third explanation is pretty neutral, really. There has never been and will, in all probability, never be a Rapture. If this is the case, then all you have to do is worry about the time you spend as a living organism and nothing else. If this is the case, then there's no reward for good behavior and no punishment for bad behavior (at least, in the afterlife). Yay! We're all off the hook!

I kid about the afterlife because its easy to do and because there's no real reason to believe that there is one. I'll continue to do so, I'm sure, but if I'm being honest, there's nothing that scares me more than death. More than anything, I hope I'm wrong about it, but I realize that that fear doesn't give me license to postulate false hope for myself. Its a mystery and one that can only be solved by going where you can never return from. The idea of just not existing is scarier than the idea of burning in Hell, to me. At least in Hell, Leah, Harper, and several of my friends will be there. So if you've ever wondered, religious friends & family, I do sincerely hope that you are right and I am wrong and that there is another side for me to see you on, when that inevitable day comes. But for now, lets just all hope that we live to be incredibly old, that medical miracles keep us lively and functioning long after our bodies should've turned to dust, and that we all love each other for as long as, and as much as, we possibly can.


  1. With technology making the leaps it is now no doubt we will be able to have our brains removed from our bodies and placed in everlasting robots and go on living as we were...but as robots. That is what I hope for anyway.

  2. Hell IS not existing. It's total separation from everything and everyone.

    Thought I'd weigh in with some Scripture:

    2 Peter 3: 3-9
    First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, "Where is this 'coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

    But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

  3. I've only recently come across that interpretation of Hell when I read "A friendly letter to skeptics and atheists." I do have to admit that it does seem more in line with the character of Jesus but less in line with all the other scriptures describing Hell as a place of torment, lake of fire, gnashing of teeth etc.

    I don't see how this scripture you've quoted depicts Hell as non-existence though. And I also don't see how he's been patient with the overwhelming majority of people who have ever lived, since they either died before, or simply never hearing about, Jesus.

  4. But never fear, Christians! When the rapture does occur, your friendly animal-loving atheists will take in your pets that were left behind. For a small fee, of course.


  5. The Scripture and the comment weren't related. the common misconception is that Hell and the Lake of Fire are the same place. I think the Bible uses the word Hell or Hades to describe the place known as Sheol to the ancient Jew, which was what they understood as a "holding place." Kind of like a prison cell. Although, I don't think they thought of it as a bad place until later when it was described as a place that you were separated from everyone, especially God.

    The Lake of Fire is the final judgement in Revelation that was really intended for Satan and the angels that fell. I know how that may sound. I also know how this may sound, but it's what the Bible says (and part of the reason for the Scripture): God never intends for anyone to go there, but by rejecting Him, we choose it. I know, I know. what about all the tribal people? I don't know. That's between God and them. It may not seem fair. I'd agree. But I can't imagine God not considering them too somehow. He doesn't have to show me the blueprints for me to believe that He knows what He's doing in everything.

    My only real solid belief about the second coming of Christ is that it's going to happen and it will happen unexpectedly. Beyond that, your guess is as good as mine!