Death, Red Hypergiants, and Pets.
So, you might be asking yourself how in the world does death, red hypergiants, and pets have
anything to do with each other? Well, in truth, nothing…but I promise it will all make sense when you read this post! Oh…and…this might be another rather long post…so…prepare thyself!
This post is probably going to be one of the weirdest, I think. It is something I know to be absolutely ludicrous to think, but I HOPE that it might, just might, have some semblance of reality in it.
I’m going to talk about my mostly completely unbiblical idea of what I choose to believe the afterlife for the believer to be. I say “mostly completely unbiblical” because probably about 90% of it has no scriptural support. The other 10% can be argued based on interpretation. Nobody really knows what the afterlife is going to be like, that is why death is such a scary thing to most people. You know…the whole fear of the unknown thing. On a side note, that is also why the best horror flicks have to do with a monster that nobody ever actually sees.
First, I’ll tell you the more…boring, if you will, biblically accurate portion of my…hope, we shall say.
A lot of people think that heaven will just be us all standing around in a worship concert and singing praises to God. I don’t think that is going to be it at all. Now, I’m sure there will be singing, but not 24/7.
I tend to think that heaven is going to be more like earth than we actually think. I say this because the holy scripture is littered with comments that (I believe) support this idea. Now, I am not going to give chapter and verse because I am just too lazy to go look them up. Besides, it will give you a reason to search it out for yourself…after all…we are supposed to test what others say with scripture, are we not?
So, one reason I think the heavenly kingdom will be more like earth is the fact that Jesus said that he was going to prepare the kingdom which will have many mansions. In Revelation, there are streets of gold and fruit trees. There is a lake (if I remember correctly) and peeps in robes and the such. This implies that the afterlife will be some sort of spiritual equivalent of a physical place.
The next reason kind of goes with the first in the fact that my interpretation of a few of the parables imply that we will have actual jobs in heaven. In my ignorant opinion (and I could be totally, and completely wrong in this -as I am by no means a scholar) I think many people misinterpret such parables such as the parables of the talents, the ruler who sends his servant (and then son) to his entrusted servants which kill them all, and the parable of the two servants (one good and one wicked).
I have always heard these parables discussed within the confines of our earthly realm and not the afterlife. Yes, these can apply to our current world, but I believe a more accurate interpretation refers to the kingdom of God in heaven. In each of these parables, the ruler returns, and after the ruler returns, we see the judgment, and rewards.
So, I interpret these passages to say, in essence, that while on earth, God will give us responsibility and depending on how we handle that responsibility, we will either get more responsibility in the afterlife or less responsibility in the afterlife. How that will look…I have no idea.
In addition to the whole parable thing, there is this universally agreed-upon idea in the Christian world view that “worship” is not just music, but living a life trying to please God. Working at our jobs as if Jesus was our boss. Showing love to those who love us not. Honesty, etc. Now, I get that this sounds like “works” but I don’t think that this is the case. If we do “good works” because we care what God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit think, then we do it out of love and a relationship, not because we think we have to do them in order to be seen or the such.
Think of it this way. If you care about someone, you will do things to please them and make them happy. Or for those of us with pets, we don’t pet our dogs or cats because we HAVE to pet them, but because we like to love on our pets. That is a relationship with our pets. We do it because we like to do it and our pets like us to pet them…usually…. maybe not cats…after three pets…they…like to…bite…dang cats!
So, my idea-based on my interpretation of scripture-is that we all will have different “jobs” to do in heaven. I don’t begin to know how that will work, but I do believe our jobs will have something to do with our spiritual gifts, talents, and passions. For me, I think I will be some sort of teacher or storyteller or both. I really don’t know how my storytelling will go as I am a fiction author, but I imagine my teaching something like this: I am chilling with Jesus, learning about him daily, then I go and tell others what I learned about him. Kind of like what preachers do these days.
So, that is pretty much the extent of my biblically accurate part of my “hope” of the afterlife. Basically, I believe we will have some kind of physical kingdom in which we will have to upkeep and a community much like we have today. I also understand that it will definitely look much different and may vary well not even be a place we “upkeep” or engage in community with each other…but I am willing to bet we will in some way have these things.
Now…. are you ready for my completely unbiblically founded idea or “hope” of what I want the afterlife to consist of?
So, like I said, there really isn’t anything anywhere in the Bible that even remotely implies this idea…it is just an idea that makes me feel a little better about all of the poor animals in the world that die such sad deaths.
You see, I am an animal lover. Not just a lover of dogs and cats…though I am more of a dog person than a cat. I love pretty much every animal I ever see. From possums to puppies. From rats to rabbits. From squirrels to sloths.
In truth…I would have to say…well...that I am a monster lover as well. Not really in the same way, but let’s take some sci-fi movies. Pitch Black, Aliens, and Jurassic Park.
In every one of these “monster” movies, whenever I see the poor things being killed, I can’t help but think that they are not evil. They are just “animals.” Now, yes, it is terrible that they are killing and eating humans, but…it’s really no different than a wolf killing and eating a rabbit. No one would say the wolf is inherently evil.
You see, these monsters are just looking for food like all other creatures. So, whenever these poor things start dying, I kind of get a tad…just a tad bit sad. They are just doing what animals do. Eat each other.
***SIDE NOTE OVER***
I half-joke that I constantly have this inner turmoil inside of me. On the one hand, I am a lover of animals. Pigs are so cute! Cows…not really that cute…but they “have feelings too.” Chickens, the same. I am pretty sure if I had to kill any one of these creatures, I would be doing so through a flood of tears.
Now, on the other hand…OH, HOW I LOVE BACON AND CHICKEN LEGS! Probably my favorite two things to eat. I love to eat them so much, but I hate that in order to eat them, means that one of these cute little pigs had to die…or one of those chickens was butchered.
My desire for this great meat overpowers my love of these creatures…so…I’m…well…just one of those guys that says, “as long as I don’t have to kill it, I’m okay with it” ...kinda.
So, now that you know I am an animal lover of all kinds, here is my little blasphemous hope of what I want the afterlife to be.
Given the more biblical stuff that I mentioned above, I think heaven will be more “physical” than not, and that we will have stuff to do, and scripture is pretty clear that there will be both a new heaven and a new earth, so here is what I think about to make me feel better about all of those poor animals.
My hope is that I will be able to chill with Jesus and hang out with all of the believers in heaven, meeting people I have never met, and chillin with my old friends from the old earth. Learn about God, talk about what we have been doing, and the such in heaven for a few thousand years.
Then, after a few thousand years of learning, fellowshipping, and worshiping the Holy Trinity, I can drop on down to the new earth where all of the animals that have ever lived on the face of the planet are roaming free and enjoying each other. None of them would be meat-eaters, so they all eat plants. You know…the lion chillin with the lamb and the bear cuddling with a koala.
“Wait,” you might say, “if all animals and creatures of all time live on earth, then it would be way too overcrowded.” This, I would say might be true…but…I solve this dilemma by thinking that God…being all-powerful… could make an earth the size of a Red Hypergiant. This would solve the problem with ease. Just for clarification on how that would solve the problem, I have linked a couple videos that explain just how big these Red Hypergiant suns are.
Now that you hopefully watched the YouTube videos and saw just how big these stars are, just imagine an “earth” that massive.
I could go to earth and chill, pet, cuddle, and play with all of these creatures who have lived throughout history. I could hike for centuries…I guess I should tell you that one of my favorite things to do is hiking and camping.
I imagine there will be “frozen climates” or the such, but though I despise the cold now, I think in the afterlife It wouldn’t have the same chilling effect on me, so I wouldn’t mind hiking the frozen tundra of the new earth and chilling with those penguins, walruses, and the such. The same with the desert regions. I could hike for months across the awesome desert and chill with the desert creatures of all kinds. AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT THE DINOSAURS!!!!! And…. maybe…. somehow…visit the creatures of the sea…. don’t really know how that would work, unless we could breathe underwater…let’s just say we can breathe underwater.
So, after a few millennia of traveling the new earth, I would go back to heaven and all of its glory and catch up with all of my old buddies I left to go travel. We would talk about what has been going on over the few centuries I was gone. I am sure I would have a lot of learning from God to do, and even new friends to meet that I haven’t met yet.
A few centuries later, go back to the new earth and chill with my beast buddies, then a few centuries later, return to the new heaven and start the cycle over again.
Now, as I end this little…well…long…post about this probably ludicrous idea of the afterlife, I must add that nobody really knows what it will really be like, and we all have some sort of idea, but mine seems the most fun! At least in this mortal mindset that I have now.
Who knows, maybe we will be standing around worshiping with nothing but music, or maybe we will have jobs. Maybe we won’t be able to visit the new earth. Maybe we won't even remember our lives on earth. The uncertainty is astronomical.
The certainty of its greatness, however, is astronomically more secure than anything in the universe. However that life will look, it will be with God in “person” with no hindrances in viewing His Glory, and that just says it all.
Thanks for reading this crazy blog of wackiness.
Tell me what do you think the afterlife might be like?