chapter seven:

Worshipping God

     The interesting thing about worshipping God is it is easier done than said. That means it is easier for you to just do it than it is for me to explain to you how to do it.  How can we focus on God as a top priority when we cannot perceive or imagine God in any way while we live?  I don't know about you, but I know I can't.  At least, not in the same way I would prioritize what I can acquire and experience. When I first think of my death, I don't see an event I look forward to. I do not want to go through whatever material pain necessary for my death and I fear Hell. 

     I have no imaginative context to truly appreciate the impact that Heaven has on the soul. Thinking about material freedom through excess defeats the purpose.  Besides, I don't know what it’s like since I've never experienced it. I do know what it is like to not have what I want though.  In the end, every physical thing I could ever possibly love will be gone. 

     Instead of focusing on what will be missed, I recognize that everything I could possibly hate is gone as well.  In bracing for what was initially perceived as a depressing and bleak reality, I've found what my soul has desired all along: freedom from material need, no pain or fear of it, no doubt or confusion, and no future that can ruin whatever pleasure I am currently enjoying. 

     Look at your world from that perspective, and you will see all the benefits of being prepared for Heaven while you live this life. Remember what I said earlier about the person that is in shape being more prepared for physical exertion than the person that is out of shape? Well, this is the workout. Preparing for the worst-case scenario makes any bad scenario more bearable and easier to overcome. 

     Whatever good you experience or acquire is more enjoyable and easier to savor since you won't expect more from it than what it can deliver.  I think we’ve all experienced setting high expectations for events that became disappointments or times when we enjoyed ourselves more when we were less tense because our expectations were lower.  Life doesn't become perfect or anything like that, but your appreciation of it can be increased exponentially.

     With such vast improvements on appreciating life, it makes no sense to believe the assurance of Heaven would make anyone suicidal. That type of self-defeating action would be done by someone miserable or someone that is terminally or mentally ill.  I refuse to say anything negative about the ill suicides, especially when vital biological functions have become incapacitated, because I have no way to relate to their struggle and anything I believe would just be an assumption, at best. 

     I'll address the miserable briefly though. Whatever you're missing from your life that makes it unbearable to live will still be missing when you die.  The main difference is in one reality there is still the ability for resolution, adjustment, or distraction. In the other, everything else you could possibly love is gone, as well.  Suicide is no escape from your grief.  It will amplify it, freeze it, and make you more aware of it. 

     Just because we know we can only get what our souls truly desire when we die doesn't mean we would rush to get there through suicide.  Not to be graphic, but if you could only have sex once in your life and it ended when you had an orgasm, would you be in a hurry to cum?  No.  Even though that's usually the goal for some of us when having sex since it is the best part?  No.   You would savor it and linger for as long as reasonable, feasible, or physically possible. 

     Life is like this phony scenario. You only get one because, even if reincarnation is real, this is the only life you will ever know. Your reason for wanting whatever it is you wanted in life will be fulfilled at the end, but you are not motivated to skip to the end. We all know it must come to an end.  Just like sex, only those who enjoy the process enjoy the end result.

     Only God can make things come to an end because it is only God that has provided it.  It wasn't a bait, trap, trick, or test.  It is all a gift. Life is not meant to be endured.  It's meant to be enjoyed.  The problem is: too often the means by which people seek enjoyment is to their own detriment and actually hinders their ability to appreciate what they have access to. 

     Righteousness does not demand that we survive off the bare minimum and seek out a meager existence. It is all about balance. No one has to tell you that you should seek to enjoy what's good. Either the purpose it serves or the pleasure it provides makes it obvious. 

     What you might need to hear is: you cannot reap the full benefit of the sun by staring at it. You’ll damage your ability to appreciate it while missing out on the good it does to your life.  Unjustly high expectations and over-appreciation of what is enjoyable will diminish your ability to savor the good while you have access and will amplify the pain of loss when access is denied. 

     In understanding and accepting what awaits us all in death, you will realize that no person, place, thing, or idea you will ever encounter, acquire, or experience will ever completely or permanently satisfy you.  Instead of viewing anyone or anything good as a possible key to happiness, even the best is seen almost as a necessary evil.   If you could do without it, you would so when you must do without it, you can. 

     Since you have a component of yourself that has urges, wants, and needs stemming from survival, comfort, and entertainment, you might as well make the most out of life and enjoy whatever is at your disposal and whoever is in your midst as much and as often as possible without unjustly harming yourself or anyone else that your choices may affect. 

     You may not think what I just said is deep or profound, but I just gave you the key to Heaven-on-Earth and self-mastery.  If you stop trying to reject what you cannot refute, you will notice a shift in your values and how you view your life.  Applying your newfound gift of turning the worst possible reality into the best to your life makes it possible for you to benefit from any situation, regardless of how it may seem on the surface. 

     The diminished value of the good an d the diminished threat from the bad also lessens any tension, pressure, or stress that can hamper your ability to savor the moment or grow from your pain. You will be prepared to be at peace and in harmony with reality because you are willing to do without whatever you can't have or take full advantage of whatever opportunities come your way.  The situation may dictate your mentality, but your limits are set by your love of self and your sense of justice for all. 

     Let me say this about justice for all real quick.  I don't want to get off the subject, but I can't just skip over something that might not come up again.  A lot of people believe in the golden rule whether they are religious or not.  You know? Treat people the way you want to be treated.  I honestly don't believe that is fair or realistic. 

     We are all different, so we all don't deserve the same things.  I believe you should treat people the way you would want to be treated if you were in the other person’s shoes.  In that way, you have considered their perspective and acted in a way that does not violate your morals or values. You can't be right with reality while seeking to treat someone unjustly according to your own standards. 

     When you are right with reality, even time, which is always threatening to ruin or end a good thing, becomes your friend.  It motivates you to savor the moment instead of fretting over the fleeting aspect of time during enjoyable events.  It promises relief when all you can do is endure a situation that is beyond your control. Then, it delivers. 

     Time is constantly moving forward, so any past mistakes can be erased through that changed mentality and any past pain doesn't have to be ignored in order to be remedied or removed.  There is a blessing earned in the lesson learned. 

     Accepting the irrefutable and unavoidable is the first step towards worshipping God.  Understanding the benefit of that end will shift your perspective in a way that allows you to benefit from all that you acquire and experience.  The self-mastery gained in the process helps you avoid the continual or epic failure that goes with any over-estimation, appreciation, or indulgence of what can be gained or lost. 

     It reverses the tendency towards negativity by amplifying our ability to enjoy the good while we have access and diminishes the pain of loss when access is denied.  You should worship God if you want to make the best out of your existence. Anything else makes you a glutton for punishment.

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