Jul 24, 2012

Spirituality and the End of Days...Have you gotten "right with God"?

As long as I can remember I've heard casual talk both in the confines of my home and in passing conversation regarding the end of days.  Whenever discussions were had about senseless acts of violence, natural disasters, general ailments, even political issues,  the words "It's the end of days" were always a part of and usually the conclusion to these conversations.  Until recently I assumed it was a localized generalization, a thing we southerners do or more pointedly we New Orleanians do.  It was a part of our historically religious culture.  An excepted Amen so to speak that seemed like the adult thing to say.  Once you were old enough to utter those words it meant not only that you'd gained a certain level of wisdom but that you were of a heightened spiritual plane awaiting those sinners around you to catch up.  It was a way to explain the unexplainable, the seemingly irrational when we couldn't fathom the thought process of those who performed these dastardly acts.  The most obvious solution for those of us who utter those words was and is always, they lack spiritual guidance.  I also figured it was a way for us to provide self explanation for why God could or would allow these things to happen.

 I'd been reared with an abundance of faith.  It was all around me at all times and a constant stay in my life from one milestone to the next.  Before my mother died, as mothers tend to do, she would offer unsolicited advice seemingly out of the total blue.  Her most recent constant advice to me before her passing was "Read your bible my child."  No explanation, no reason, just out of the blue as if it were the answer to every question I'd ever asked her, her response at the end of her days was always "Read your bible, make sure you get right with God."  My mother had always been a spiritual woman, not a bible toting/thumping in the church when the doors opened kind of christian, but an informed christian none the less.  In fact my whole immediate family was that way.  They were the types of people who in the midst of committing a sin, could not only quote you a scripture and tell you what part of the good book it came from, but could relate an explanation of the message to the very sin they were committing at the time.  I won't attempt to explain the rationale behind this because I didn't understand it then and I don't understand it now.  There are people who can rationalize and commit sin in the name of the Lord.  Always have been, always will be, but it takes a certain kind of spiritual awareness to be able to sin, know you're sinning, admit what kind of sin it is, why your flesh wants to commit that sin, how it's an opposition to what God wants you to do and still commit the sin.  I tell you, it's amazing to watch.  In any event, my mother's cryptic message was a constant in my life but never more than the months preceding her own death.  Because her death was a very sudden one, she had not been gravely ill, I began to ponder whether the old saying was true.  Some people were innately aware of their own mortality.  While I don't think this was the case for my mother it still makes me wonder, are some people in tune with our demise? 

The first time i distinctly recall my mother told me those words with urgency, "Read your bible my child" was during my freshman year in college.  I'd been dabbling in the research of many different sects of religion and was beginning to have very vivid, seemingly prophetic dreams.  I called my mother in a panic one night to relay an extremely vivid dream I'd had and while understanding it was a spiritual dream, it was distinctly about the end of our physical lives on earth, I considered it a direct message from God but I could not decipher whether it was a sign or a warning.  After asking question after question and getting the same answer from her without any details I cracked open that bible.  Not knowing where to start I prayed and asked for guidance, opened the book and began to read randomly the page it opened to.  Sure enough, the very dream I'd had was described in every detail right before me on those pages.  I still don't remember what scripture, passage or even the context of the writing and until this day despite attempting to comb the bible from cover to cover can not find that scripture although the dream is a vivid as if I'd just had it last night.  There was something to be said for this reading the bible thing.  Over the years I've had like many others, spiritual bursts if you will.  I'll read the bible at one time and become engrossed in the message.  Other times try as I might I can't concentrate on the reading itself and have to re-read a sentence over and over just to comprehend the language of it.  Sometimes my spirit tells me it's time to read that bible and my flesh finds every excuse to do something else first. 

I now have a deeper sense of my purpose on this earth, at this time but I can't say I'm comfortable with my relationship with God.  I don't think I've nurtured my faith yet enough.  I innately believe that God knows my heart and my intentions.  I'm not sure I think it reflects in my actions as much as I think it should and maybe it's all the End of Days talk that has me panicky about it.  On the one hand I believe that it's been the "end of days" since...well the beginning of days and that no man can predict the hour.  On the other hand I see society and as it relates to God's message as I know it, well, it seems we're about 50 past what should have been the end of days.  I have many theories by which to judge this but my main one would be that mankind has a God complex.  We're constantly questioning/studying nature and trying to reproduce it.  Through technology, education, spiritual awareness, new age beliefs I think we're both consciously and unconsciously going against God's very word.  He IS God.  While I still inform myself of many different beliefs which are outside of those I've come to believe are within the realms of what God wants us to know, I have developed enough faith to believe that still God knows my heart.  I don't get confused anymore and see many things for exactly what they are.  But yet I'm still left with these questions: Are we in the End of Days?  Will this happen within' my lifetime?  and most importantly HAVE I GOTTEN RIGHT WITH GOD?  Have you?


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