My little kids have been obsessed with heaven lately. I honestly don’t remember Brienne asking all these difficult and never-ending questions. I’m sure she did. Maybe I’ve lost a few brain cells since then. Or perhaps the intensity of the questions are just exaggerated now because I have two kids asking questions at the same time. Whatever the reasoning behind my feelings of inundation, I am finding myself greatly ill-equipped to respond appropriately.
Here are a few of the questions they posed to me this morning in the five-minute car ride to school:
Mommy, when am I going to die?
Why does God make us to die?
How am I going to die?
In heaven, will I have a birthday party?
Why is Jesus building a house for us in heaven?
What kind of shirt is God wearing?
Will I still have to go to the dentist in heaven?
Can we take our toys to heaven with us?
Does God have a beer? (Or perhaps a “beard?”)
Now do you see why I’m always exhausted?
Answering these questions can be difficult. And frankly, some of these are things I don’t ever want to think about.
But when my kids got on the topic of bringing toys to heaven, I found it to be a good opportunity to talk about how we can’t take our belongings with us when we die. We talked a bit about this but let’s be real; three- and five-year olds can’t truly comprehend this topic and they don’t really want to talk about it for very long.
Mostly, I felt as if I were talking to myself. And it’s a lesson that I need to be taught over and over.
We can’t take our “stuff” with us when we die.
You see, I have a tendency to want pretty things. I want to purchase new decor for our home, new clothes, or the latest best-seller. There is tension inside me. One side is pulling at me to buy a new pair of shoes and the other side is tugging at me to sponsor another child on the other side of the world. One side is planning my retirement home and the other is thinking we need to downsize and spend our money on others.
My true weakness is books. I am a sucker for a good book and I love to fill my shelves with them. If I miraculously received a $500.00 check in the mail, you can bet that most of the money would be used to buy books. It’s a sickness…
We live in this culture where having more “stuff” means being more successful. Living the American dream seems to be everyone’s goal.
But sometimes I get sick of the hustle that comes with living the dream.
What if the American dream isn’t our goal? What if our goal becomes living for Jesus? What does that look like?
Maybe it means moving to a smaller house in order to have spare income to use on people who need it.
Maybe it looks like homeschooling your children even though you don’t feel equipped.
Perhaps it means moving halfway across the world to tell an unreached people group about God’s love for them.
Or maybe it means opening up your home to a weekly Bible study group.
I don’t know what “living for Jesus” looks like for you. In fact, I don’t always know what it looks like for me. But I do know that when I get that old feeling of tension in my life, it’s a sure sign that Christ is trying to show me a better path, a better plan. He is opening up opportunities for me to follow Him. All I need to do is look around me to see people in need.
What will my next next step be? What will yours be?
I would love to hear how God is moving you away from the American Dream and into His calling.