A Present or A Privilege?

I was listening to a comedian this morning, and he was discussing the fact that he is an atheist.Though most of his comments were simple and funny, his final comment was quite assertive and caused me to think for a moment.He said:“My take is this:If I get up to heaven, and there is a God, and he says: ‘you were wrong... how did you live your life?’The comedian replied:‘I tried to help people... I gave to charity... I didn’t know if you were real, and there was no evidence.’God replied:‘Well you didn’t worship me everyday.’The comedian responded:‘Fine!Send me wherever is as far away from you as possible, because you’re a sociopath.”Nervy, don’t you think??

I had a similar comment from a family member over the summer.  Let’s just say it was my cousin.  We were conversing about the fact that he only attends Church periodically.  I explained that one of God’s commandments is to keep the Sabbath holy, and as my cousin is Catholic as I am,  that means attending Church every Sunday.  He said something like:  “If God is not going to let me into Heaven because I don’t go to Church regularly, then that’s a god I don’t want to be with.”  Wow.  

We’ve certainly come to a point in society where we feel a sense of entitlement.  These remarks seem to imply that we’re here doing what we believe is best for us, for God, and for the world, and if God doesn’t think so, well -- who needs Him?  What does He know?  We can just stamp our self-righteous, self-sustaining feet, throw our little human tantrums, and disown this invisible God because He’s too ungrateful and doesn’t appreciate how good we are!  Have we forgotten, or perhaps never stopped to consider, that our very being is a gift?  We don’t deserve to be here.  We don’t have to be here.  And I’ll be damned if any of us has a clue as to how to be here without some serious divine guidance.  Our life should be spent in obedience, in worship, in prayer, and in thanksgiving because we are so eternally grateful to the One who has given everything to us.  

I don’t know about you, but when someone gives me a gift I usually send a thank you note.  The gift makes me feel special, loved, and so grateful for the person who gave it to me.  My response is an act of love in return for the love shown to me.  So what’s my response when I wake up to the gift of life in the morning?  Thank you!  What’s my response when I feel the brisk Fall breeze and see the beautiful changing leaves?  Glory to God.  What’s my response when I feel my heart beat?  Awesome!  The more grateful I become, the more visible the gifts become, and the more I am inclined to worship, love, pray, and adore.

Maybe instead of focusing on the rules, we should see our need for guidance. The commandments are there for us.  They are a blessing, not a curse.  Instead of expecting more from God, perhaps we should start by thanking Him for what He has already given us.  And instead of thinking that we could possibly even begin to know the answers, let’s start listening and pondering those things which just might contain more wisdom than we could ever conceive in our little minds.  I guarantee you that when you accept, embrace, and act according to God’s desires -- YOU will be the one to receive -- not God.  He’s a little smarter than you think.

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