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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Leave No Stone Unturned

The early Church Fathers tell us to search ourselves interiorly in order to become aware of our faults and failings. This we do for a number of reasons. One especially is to acknowledge our unworthiness before God. Quite a difference from what modern day psychology would teach.

In these days of self-appreciation, self-help and the I am a good person mentality, we have lost our sense of unworthiness. We've lost what is called a conscience. I was quite content to put my conscience on hold for several years. In this way, I could do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however I wanted and didn't need to feel any guilt. I could rationalize away pretty much everything I did. But somewhere in the back of my mind there was this uncomfortable feeling. I was never totally guiltless.

What I didn't realize was that this conscience that I had stuffed under years of self-indulgence was trying to tell me something. It was trying to warn me of the approaching disasters I would soon be encountering because of my careless behavior.

I would like you to consider, just for a moment, what your conscience is saying to you. You may think, as I did, that it really doesn't matter. That my guilt is related to my childhood, past experiences or associations created by unwanted circumstances. However, I'm afraid I was terribly wrong. Although my life experiences do make up who I am as a human being, they should not dictate who I am. If I continue to blame others for my problems, I will never become the person I am created to be. If I continue to look back on my childhood and believe that every bad thing that happened to me has now resulted in my unhappiness, then I am doomed.

This is not at all what we are here for. I guess I never really believed that life could be such a waste. I chose to waste my life. I chose to self-indulge. I chose to think that I was in control and that I could be self-sufficient. Have you noticed how many times I've used the word self? But isn't it true. It's all about the self, the human self that can never be satisfied. Self-appreciation, self-help, self-indulgence, self-gratification, self, self, self! Me, me, me! And this is the result of burying the conscience. It was only when I dug up my conscience and began to examine my life that I was able to see what had gone wrong.

It may be a hard thing to accept, but the truth is that all the self-help books in the world aren't going to change your life. It's an endless circle that goes nowhere because there's nowhere to go. If you want to think you're a good person, then start digging up your conscience that you've put away because you didn't like being told what to do. Think about it. The only reason we wouldn't like advice is because it doesn't fit into our selfish agendas. The conscience doesn't care about our agendas, it simply tells us what we need to do to become the person we were created to be.

In this process we must be sure to leave no stone unturned. Everything we've ever done is going to be before us either here in this life or at death. Now you may not want to believe that but I'm here to tell you that some things are true whether we believe them or not. Personally, I'd like to know now while I still have an opportunity to say I'm sorry to those that I've offended and most importantly to the One that patiently waited for me to return after watching me turn away. I am truly unworthy to stand in His presence, but in sincerely acknowledging my unworthiness, He makes me worthy because He is love in it's truest form. He is Divine Love and He makes all things new.

To Him be glory both now and forever and unto ages of ages. Amen


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen. Excellent advice.

8:14 AM  

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