Last time I wrote I discussed the idea of aiming ourselves. That what we’re looking towards determines how we take information and how we organise our lives. This month that has been on my mind, as well as the importance of considering the cost of every choice we make.
Every choice matters
So, what do I mean by ‘matters’? I mean it on a grand scale. I mean, on a scale of heaven to hell, that every single choice you ever make has massive repercussions for whether Earth will be more like Heaven or more like Hell (I’ll get back to this).
In Revelation it reads “… God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation Chapter 21 verse 4, BSB).
So,Heaven is a place of the highest good, a place where there is no suffering. Then it would make sense that Hell is the exact opposite of that, the place where there is only suffering and only death. The Bible consistently describes it as such; it describes a place of eternal fire and punishment. A place of eternal suffering.
Well, it seems to me that the better choice to strive towards, the Godliest way to orient ourselves, would be to make choices that tip towards the reduction of suffering, just as Heaven is the complete lack of it.
I don’t know whether this is precisely what it says in the Bible, but it’s an idea I’ve certainly derived from it and have begun living my life in such a way. I consider deeply the smallest decisions I make and judge whether it will reduce suffering or increase it, whether it will tip the world towards Hell or towards Heaven. And I really mean this in the most pedantic way imaginable.
Every single decision
So the other day I was walking into work. In Australia, every street has a “bin day”, where one must remember to put the bin out before the green truck rolls up and empties it. Australians will know, however, that this can sometimes end with the bin being splayed on the ground – the bin truck drops it and accidentally tips it.
So, on my walk to work, I noticed this had happened to someone’s bin. I looked at it and thought about how a person would walk out later in the day and would, for a brief three seconds or so, suffer. They would have to lean down and pick up the bin, which is not something anyone really wants to do, and set it back up then walk it back to the house.
So, I took three seconds out of my life, and picked up the bin, setting it back on its base. This tiny act, probably unnoticed by anyone, shifted the Earth the smallest bit towards Heaven. My active choice did that, and if I had passively walked past then I, knowingly, would have let someone else suffer.
Every single moment
It took me a long time to get to the point where my mind was oriented to think this way. Indeed, I might not expect everyone reading this to think the same way that I do at all. If there was one thing, however, that I could ask you to consider it’s this; what would your life look like if every choice mattered so much that it literally meant Heaven or Hell?
It’s an incredibly heavy way to think, and it means a big dollop of responsibility on every individual. But my goodness does the individual matter! Imagine if each and every person considered every moment on whether it reduced others’ suffering? Then on Earth, there would be no more pain, nor sorrow, nor crying. Incredible! And when people saw us acting this way, they would ask us, and we would tell them we are simply acting the way of the Kingdom of God! That we want to see Heaven on Earth!
My goodness, the implications of this… The thought that if each and every individual thought this way… It has me hopping up and down on the spot and puts a great big smile on my face. So as for me and my mind, I’m going to continue to act as if every choice matters, because, as far as I’m concerned, they do. Each and every little choice.
Josiah Gray lives in Logan City, Australia. He is currently studying teaching at Christian Heritage College and is committed to telling the story of Jesus to the next generation.