Getting to Heaven
Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 08:47AM
Si Fractus Fortis in Daily Life, Doctrine, God's Will, Sanctity

It’s been a fair while since I posted here. It’s been a time of great testing by the Lord, but he has been gracious to me and never allowed me to lose faith.

I have several times come near despair over my own inability to do God’s will. And then yesterday I had one of those blinding flashes of the obvious which illuminate the entire scene.

I was researching articles on goal setting in a business context, and one of the articles I read was about “outcome thinking”. One sentence struck me hard:

The aim of outcome thinking is to respond in alignment with the outcome you want instead of just reacting to the situation.
It struck me that this summed up exactly what I was looking for - a unifying principle that shapes all my actions. But what was the desired outcome of the Christian life? Up to then I had been trying to do God’s will, but God’s will was often difficult to discern and even more difficult to do on a consistent basis. Having “God’s will” as my desired outcome left all the questions unanswered because I didn’t know what outcome God wanted.

And then it struck me. Yes, of course I knew what God’s desired outcome was. It was to get me to heaven. I realised that I now knew what should be the guiding principle of my life and my actions: to get to heaven.

This has always been the aim of the saints, right from the time of the Apostles. “Work out your salvation in fear and trembling” said St Paul. Only in quite modern times has getting to heaven ceased to be the major preoccupation of churchgoers. I think that is because there is a general feeling that “it’ll all be all right on the day”, a feeling that it’ll only be really outstandingly wicked people who don’t go to heaven.  The rest of us will be ok, even if we’re not particularly religious.

What I found yesterday was that making Heaven my desired outcome did make a radical change to my actions. Suddenly I began to see how much of what I do is quite incompatible with Heaven. So much of my own laziness and half-heartedness become unsupportable in my mind.

It’s too early to say what will be the result of this. I will write again soon.

Article originally appeared on Si Fractus Fortis (http://sifractus.squarespace.com/).
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