BLOGGER NOTE:I promised my brother-in-law a new post…so here ya’ go. … There are so many things I want to write about, that it actually freezes me up every time I sit down to write. So for those two loyal readers who wish I would write more, I really will try. … Shout out to Pee-wee 😉
I never needed to watch scary movies when I was little. I had the Rapture to keep me up at night. While my friends were watching Freddy slash his way up and down Elm Street, I was creeped out by the still-buzzing electric razor rattling around the porcelain sink during “A Thief in the Night.” No offense to Lahaye and Jenkins (at least not right now) but “Left Behind” has nothing on the “Thief” film. I cannot tell you how many of my church friends cited that movie as the thing that got them “saved.”
I remember listening to youth speakers at AWANA camp talking about the evils of Satanism in rock and roll, and what you would hear if you played a record backward. I heard more than my fair share on the 70 weeks in Daniel and the Beast of Revelation.
All that led to my constant sprinting up the stairs into my parents’ bedroom to make sure my mom had not been snatched away. When my sisters were really young, I would stand in their bedroom and watch them sleep. For a long time the youngest was under that mysterious “age of accountability” (sola scriptura, my eye), so I was pretty sure that they would be taken away.
Yes, my readers, I doubted my “salvation”. I prayed the “sinner’s prayer” so much, it was like a Rosary. I would lie in bed at night, mumbling it over and over and over. Finally, at about the age of 12, I just had to stop. I was driving myself completely nuts, and there was enough going on around me to do that, without me having to do it for myself. I used to feel guilty for all that worried praying—if only I could trust Him, if only I could know for sure if I really meant it, and if only I could know for sure if He really accepted my prayer.
Silly, isn’t it. It’s what happens when “salvation” becomes fire insurance, instead of the restoration of Communion between the Creator and His created, if that makes sense. I was never too excited about Heaven, but I really didn’t want to go to Hell, and even worse, be left behind like that electric razor, rattling around without anyone to steady it.
But here’s the thing, I don’t think it’s about going to heaven or not going to hell. Heaven is heaven only because we exist there with the One whom we were created to know. The better we know Him here, the more we will want to be with Him there, and the more we understand His great mercy and love for mankind. That means we also learn to trust Him more.
Orthodoxy is tailor-made for people like me. My morning prayers, my evening prayers, the Divine Liturgy, the Jesus Prayer…these things are a constant hurling of oneself on the mercy of God. We say things like “Lord, have mercy” and “have mercy upon us and save us.”
Do I say these things because I fear His wrath? Nope, I say these things because I trust His love. I know that He saved me through His death and resurrection, I know that I am being saved as I follow Him, trust Him and worship Him, and I believe I will be saved when I stand before Him. They are no longer prayers from a heart of fear, but from a heart (I hope) of trust, one that is a part of His bride, His inheritance, His beloved.
That’s not so scary, is it?