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Learned Student, Honest.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

cherish the earthly relationships, on earth

I don't believe in living each day like it's your last . . .

I heard a Pastor say this week that marriage does not exist in Heaven. It is a question I had, which he confirmed, since my stepfather remarried my mother after my older siblings' mother passed, many years ago. My stepfather has also gone home to be with the Lord (Rest in Perfect Peace). Yet, I vividly remember the words my mother said to him with the casket open and how the Pastor responded to her. I could not help but wonder privately, who would he be married to in Heaven? And how does marriage in Heaven work for the polygamous homes, which were still popular in Nigeria as recent as two generations ago – my grandparent’s generation.

Thoughts of people that have recently passed and celebrating the anniversary of my esteemed relative’s home going (Dr. Femi Ogunnaike), as is the cultural tradition, caused other thoughts to resurface. When we attend funerals, usually as Christians, we comfort ourselves with the assurance that we will see them again. My initial reaction to the Pastor's affirmation, that the marriage relationship did not exist in Heaven, was something like "oh" *eyebrows raised* and "aww." The reassurance we hold onto likely encompasses the hope that we will see that person" again assumedly in the same earthly relationship. However, if the marriage relationship does not exist in heaven, neither will all other earthly relationships that we value. This makes me realize this one chance on earth is really the only time to cherish that form of the relationship.

Along those lines, I usually hear so many of my peers say “live each day like it's your last,” when they learn of someone’s passing. Many people probably said this same statement 9 years ago too, wherever we were, when we processed the World Trade Center’s terrorist attack.

Respectfully, I disagree wholeheartedly with the “live each day like your last” motto. I know I haven’t put much thought into my last day and how I want to spend it and I do not think I ever will. I would venture to say that many people who say that have not put much thought into it either. We generally work with the end in sight, but this is an expected end (for some - since not all will sleep) that we naturally and consciously suppress. Moreover, the average life expectancy in the United States is currently at about 78 years. Adhering to that motto essentially means we would spend, on average, a very substantial portion of our lifetime on earth, living in fear of life and death.

I do believe in living each day progressively and with purpose. The more correct statement or motto to me falls somewhere along the lines of “live each day cherishing all the time spent with people, family and friends with no doubt in your mind that if it were your last day once you've arrived at the gates of Heaven, God would say “my good and faithful servant you’ve done well.””

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