Living with a Longing to See God
In our struggle to do good and avoid evil as we go through life, we can sometimes start to think that God is keeping track of all the bad we do in some kind of accounting system. We act as though the goal is to try to have enough good things in the book to balance out all the bad so that, hopefully in the end, everything comes close to zero. This we think will then earn us entrance into heaven. This creates a big problem. We’ve got to remember that God is not our accountant…he is our Father.
If we try to make everything “balance out” in life in a strict legalistic kind of way, we will never make it and we will be miserable. St. Paul reminds us that Jesus has won freedom for us. We are no longer slaves of the law and he reminds us that we need not live as slaves to our passions, what he calls “the flesh.” Rather we should live in the freedom of “the spirit.” The psalm from today best sums up the attitude we should have as we go through life in this freedom, “Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face.”
Heaven is not about accounting and reward, but about relationship. On earth we should live with a longing to be in relationship with God, to grow in love with God. If we live with this longing, even though we may not be perfect, we will get what we desire. We will see the face of God forever in heaven. That adds up pretty well in my book.