There is nothing past this life. There is neither heaven nor hell. Whatever we put into this life is all we will get back; we answer to none other than ourselves.
Life then becomes a series of experiences; occurrences which may or may not fall under our control. We vacillate between conqueror and victim depending on the circumstance. If we plan well, things should go well unless events transpire beyond our ability to see or plan. If we find ourselves in situations we find inherently unpleasant, we either become another statistical anomaly subject to actuaries and their tables or we must rely on humanly devised coping mechanisms: personal, pharmaceutical, psychological or other remedies of self-medication.
Now since we have developed over the course of countless tens, if not hundreds, of millennia (remember, we’re still pretending here) and the ever evolving ability to rationalize our environment and milieu to some balance point so we can function normally (defining “normal” as a comparative Bell curve of society, longing to be included into the ever-present sixty-eighth percentile), we have no other longings or desires beyond the moment, the “now,” the “what is.”
If all of this is indeed true (yep, still pretending here) should we not see less stressors in our world, less discomfort at one’s death (since death is nothing more than the evolutionary outworking in our midst) and more equilibrium in society as a whole? Would not crime become self-regulating since evolution would have naturally de-selected those whose motives were not more toward equilibrium and balance? Would we not see a greater emphasis on relationships knowing they alone give intrinsic value to life?
Yet none of these musings are true; none of them have any basis in reality. They cannot since we are merely “pretending.”
Our world desperately pretends there is nothing other than the “now.” Society screams individualism yet demands compliance to the accepted norms. While no long-term, objective, evidence exists for the evolutionary model, it remains the “holy grail” of science; all the while its very existence is morally and logically self-defeating. As one writer claimed almost 2000 years ago, while they “profess themselves to be wise they [become] fools.”
Every single person in this world longs for the eternal: more time, more life, or simply just “more.” The time we have alive is fleeting and never long enough. The desire to live is paramount, yet to believe we only desire to avoid death for the sake of more and greater experience is as simplistic as it is puerile. It is not the experience of things but of relationships which make our “time” possess its intrinsic value. Time has meaning because of the relationships we have with others.
If what we “pretend” to have is true, why do we still long for “more” beyond what we have and will be given? Would not “natural selection” and “survival of the fittest” have long ago removed those who think such things from humanity’s midst due to the weakness of such characteristics?
I do not advocate religion. I do not advocate following a set of rules. What I do advocate is a relationship extending beyond this life into eternity. Jesus Christ invites people “Come to Me,” not “Come to those who claim to follow Me.”
When we trust in what He has done, what He has taught and what He promises, we are not changing merely our minds but we embark on a relationship which changes who we are!
No one can keep pretending forever.
Who would want to?