In this life there are many things to prepare for, but the most important is for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. I will take you with me, should you want to come along, on my personal journey to the door which will lead to eternity, through which every soul must pass. Where the angel of death waits to ask the all important question, "Are you prepared for the Kingdom?"

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Location: Anacortes, Washington, United States

Two years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was one of the fortunate ones who survived surgery along with chemo/radiation treatments. Recently, it was discovered that the cancer had returned and although I am again on chemotherapy, in all probability I have perhaps one more year to live. During these last months I would like to share what I have learned about the most important thing we'll ever do in this life and that is, prepare for the kingdom of God.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Getting Right with God

I was thinking the other day about how I found the path that I'm on today and what made me turn from a life of self-gratification to one of self denial.

It was pretty simple really. One day I suddenly found that just about everything that I thought was important for my life and my future was gone. I had no job, no marriage, no future prospects for either and worst of all, no faith. What I did have were my two teenage sons, both of whom just a few months before had undergone tremendous conversion experiences, one in the Catholic Church and the other in the Foursquare Church. Both were now completely dedicated to God.

It became obvious to me that they had learned how to pray for conversions for others, especially those in their family and I was next on the list. This however, was not the first time I had met the Lord in a profound way. But this time would surely be the last.

I will never forget the night I fell on my knees and bowed down before Him and acknowledged my horribly selfish behavior over the years and how I had offended Him over and over again. It was then that I knew this would be my last opportunity to get right with God. If I didn't get my life on the right path now, I never would. So I humbly begged forgiveness and asked one thing of God, not that I deserved anything, but I asked Him not to leave me alone. And because He is the very source of loving kindness and compassion, He took pity on me and granted my request. He took me away to a place where I would learn, in time, what I needed to do to get right with God.

I learned that the acquisition of grace (God's favor) is obtained through repentance and the keeping of God's commandments. This is the first step and a very difficult one. But for those whose commitment to the Lord is sincere, this will lead to total freedom. These ten commandments of God, which I used to view as restrictive rules, are the very things that lead to our freedom.

When I was breaking every commandment, I was in total bondage to my selfish passions and consequently paid a huge price emotionally and psychologically for this mistake. But as Fr. Abbot Joseph once said to me, the Lord prefers a passionate person to an indifferent one. He can work with a passionate person by transforming the vices into virtues if we allow Him to take us through the process of purification. He can do little with a person who is indifferent, who doesn't care.

So let this be an encouragement to those who seem to have endless battles with the passions. The Lord will transform them if we let Him, if we are willing to fight for the purification of our soul. He will clothe us in the virtuous garments we will need to enter the Kingdom. For as Christ says, we must be properly dressed to enter the banquet of the great King. These virtues are the only things we can take with us at death. The soul must be prepared and ready.

May God grant us the desire and the wisdom to fall before Him in sincere sorrow, with tears of repentance and a contrite heart, acknowledging our offenses so that with the Psalmist we can say:

Have mercy on me, God, in your kindness
In your compassion blot out my offense.
O wash me more and more from my guilt
and cleanse me from my sin.

My offenses truly I know them;
my sin is always before me.
Against you, you alone have I sinned;
what is evil in your sight I have done.

That you may be justified when you give sentence
and be without reproach when you judge.
O see, in guilt I was born,
a sinner was I conceived.

Indeed you love truth in the heart;
then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.
O purify me, then I shall be clean;
O wash me, I shall be whiter than snow.

Make me hear rejoicing and gladness,
that the bones you have crushed may thrill.
From my sins turn away your face
and blot out all my guilt.

A pure heart create for me O God,
put a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence,
nor deprive me of your Holy Spirit.

Give me again the joy of your salvation;
With a spirit of fervour sustain me,
that I may teach transgressors your ways
and sinners may return to you.

O rescue me God, my helper,
and my tongue shall ring out your goodness.
O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth shall declare your praise.

For in sacrifice you take no delight,
burnt offering from me you would refuse,
my sacrifice, a contrite spirit.
A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn.

Psalm 50/51


Blogger MereChimera said...


2:17 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

You're in my prayers. Thank you for your inspiring words.
Michaelk Borussia

1:33 PM  

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