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OPINION: Where Is My Eternal Bliss?

I'm getting quite old these days and I keep thinking about four classmates I had in high school.

Two things these fellows had in common were all being my classmates and all dying within five years of graduation.

One of them was my best friend, killed in war.

Another was a social friend, dead of diabetes complications.

The third was a popular guy, killed as co-pilot of a plane which went out to sea and disappeared off the surface of the earth.

Why do people of faith fight so hard to stay alive? If they truly believe in "eternal bliss" then the sooner there, the better.

The last was a fellow who was not particularly well liked but, he was the only one who married and had children. He was a truck driver in a pit when the roadway gave way and the truck rolled over, crushing him.

Surveys seem to show that a vast majority of people believe in "heaven" and most people claim they are heading there. Christ said we were going to a life of eternal bliss. Christ said it. It must be so.

Yet, I am uneasy about these opinion surveys.

My classmates have proceeded me to heaven by sixty-five years. I have had a good life but not a perfect life, certainly not a life of bliss. Looking back over my life, I think I have broken even, half not happy, half happy. I believe that is better than the lives of the vast majority of people in this world. But it doesn't sound better than the life of eternal bliss my classmates have had in heaven.

My children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren are probably happy I didn't depart with my four classmates although often they seem to resent me more than appreciate me. But if the surveys are right and Christ was speaking truth, wouldn't I have been better off if death had visited me long, long ago before all the pain of life and now the pain of physical deterioration?

Why do people of faith fight so hard to stay alive? If they truly believe in "eternal bliss" then the sooner there, the better.

Speaking for myself, I think my faith in heaven and eternal bliss was weak, skeptical even and my hopes of beating the system and finding more happiness here was very strong.

I suspect that the belief in heaven expressed by the large majority is less true faith and more ego. A horror of the unfaceable fear that they may depart permanently and wonderful, important them really wasn't so wonderful, so important after all.

Just another of those on earth who comes from nothingness, is born, lives and goes back to nothingness. Like a dragonfly which lives less than twenty-four hours and probably goes back to nothingness. Or is eternal bliss awaiting us all?

Adapted from an Opinion by Dale Christman as submitted to www.thecoolgroup.org

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Wise Cracks

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1. Wrinkled was not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.

2. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.

3. Consciousness: that annoying time between naps.

4. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

5. Being 'over the hill' is much better than being under it!

6. God must love stupid people - He made so many.

7. Procrastinate now!

8. I Have a degree in Liberal Arts; now, may I tell you today's specials?

9. A hang over is the wrath of grapes.

10. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

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