Before I go and insult an entire religion and the opposite of an entire religion, let me first say that some of the finest people I know are, or probably are, Jews and Atheists. I said “probably,” because I have met many people over my lifetime, so by the law of averages, some would have to be Jewish and some would have to be Atheists. The others would have to be other religions. I don’t generally meet someone and ask his or her religion (at least not since I moved from the Midwest), so if you’re not my friend or a member of my church, I probably don’t know what faith you are or aren’t. However, it is likely that I know your ethnic background; that’s what interests people in the Northeast U.S.
But, I’m getting off-course here. What I am trying to say is that there are good people of all religions and non-religions. I do have friends and relatives who are Jewish. I also have friends and relatives who are Atheists. However, they’re probably really Agnostics, because if God were to suddenly appear in the passenger seats of their cars, they’d probably yell, “Oh my God,” and mean it, and then crash into a tree.
Before I crash into a tree with this blog post, I will get back on track. It’s just that I needed to use a lot of words to reassure everyone that I have nothing against Jews and Atheists. Well, except for one thing.
That one thing is: They’re complacent about their belief that this is it. They have no problem believing that their existence in this world is the beginning, the middle, and the end of them. As my close friend, Boz, who’s Jewish, said, “I’m fine with believing there’s no afterlife. It’s less complicated this way.”*
Well, I have a problem with this kind of thinking. What about payback? I want people who’ve done me wrong to pay. As I’ve aged and gained wisdom from Facebook memes, Nike ads, and church–where we’re reminded to love everyone, forgive everyone, and turn the other cheek (which cheek wasn’t specified), I’ve gotten better at not holding a grudge.
This is mainly because my memory is horrible and I can’t remember if I was offended or by whom. But if I do remember, I try to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. And then, if I still think that the person was wrong, crass, insulting, offensive, or jerk-like, I think, “He’ll get his” or “She’ll get hers.” I need to believe that someone up there is keeping track of every infraction against me. I try not to think about the list with my name at the top, however.
I also need to believe that my good deeds are being recorded, as well. My hope is that they’ll outnumber my negative actions and that I’ll have a surplus to spend in Heaven. Jesus said that there were many mansions in Heaven.** I want to have enough celestial credit to buy a fabulous oceanfront mansion, on the right side of the Pearly Gate … but not too close to the entrance. I imagine it gets noisy over there.
Because I know that there is an afterlife, I also know that I’ll see everyone again, even if it’s going to come as a surprise to my Jewish and Atheist friends. They probably thought they’d seen the last of me.
*I have a Jewish friend who said that her rabbi teaches that there is an afterlife. So, some Jewish people do believe that there’s more to come.
**Some experts interpret the word for “mansions” as “rooms.” I prefer the “mansions” translation. I do not want to spend my credit on a room.