This morning as I was getting ready for hockey and eating some breakfast, I flipped on the TV and turned to Sportscentre on TSN. I was half-listening to the commentary while watching a few hockey highlights when something the announcer said caught my ear. He said something like, "getting into heaven is easier than getting into baseball heaven" in reference to Andre Dawson's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In case you don't know the process for induction into the hall of fame, let me give you the "Frizz" notes version. Once a player retires, he has to wait roughly 5 years in order to begin being put on the ballot to be voted into the hall of fame. Some players never make it into the hall due to this process. Sports writers and other baseball people are invited to vote on these players. Andre Dawson made the hall of fame in his 9th year of eligibility. I can't remember entirely, but I believe that after 10-15 years on the ballot the player's name is pulled off of it and he is no longer eligible to gain entry into the hall of fame.
What I appreciated about the comment made on Sportscentre is that it is true. Getting into heaven is the "easy" part of the Christian life...some call it buying fire insurance!! The challenge of the Christian life is how to we live in light of eternity. Knowing that our eternal resting place is secure in heaven when we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and walk in relationship with Him, how is our life different as a result? Some people (including myself) wrestle with this paradox for their entire lives. Our wrestle is with adopting this new identity that Jesus has given us and to live life in light of this new identity which is rooted in Christ.
Some people say it is enough to just believe that you are going to heaven. I think that your belief in heaven and your belief in Jesus will begin to shape the way you choose to live. I believe that following Christ means learning to grow in your love for God and love for others. In my marriage and my relationships with my children, I MUST be growing in my love for them. My love must not only be proclaimed, but must also be demonstrated on a daily basis. If it is not, am I truly in love with my family? The same can be said of our relationship with Christ. If we are living in light of eternity, we should be proclaiming and demonstrating our love for God and for others on a daily basis while learning to grow in both of these areas.
I'm thankful that I'm a work in progress and that perfection isn't demanded from me. If it was, then there is no need for Jesus in our world. But the truth is that our world desperately needs Christ, and I desperately need Christ in every moment of every day. Live your life in light of eternity and grow in your love, don't settle for simply retaining fire insurance!