Life and Tests

John Shore has a post about Chad Holtz entitled Chad Holtz now believes in hell. As to homosexuality . . . ?  You can read John’s post or do an online search to get more information about Chad Holtz, but what I want to highlight here is an insightful comment under John’s post by sdparris.  Whether it is applicable to Chad’s situation or not, I think that it contains wisdom when it comes to recovery, meeting life on life’s terms, and facing life’s challenges:

“You are in the triumphant phase. You played by the rules and it worked. You’ve conquered the beast, in a way, making all things right in the world, or so it seems. It[‘]s a great feeling and right now everything lines up.

“Why do we say let[‘]s see what happens in six months? Because that is when the afterglow starts to wear off and life starts becoming real again. What got us into the mess to begin with rears its head again, and we find ourselves once again struggling. If, as you said, you had an addiction, expect it to happen. Its rarely a one time shot, but something people have to make conscious choices over for a while, sometimes for a lifetime. God sure can help you with the struggle, but the choice is ultimately yours…

“Expect life to continue to throw you curves. Your marriage took a big hit. Your relationship with your friend and family is altered. Hopefully for the better, we all want that, but experience has taught several of us that reality often is not what we want. I do hope your relationships continue to be strong and thriving.

“Life is the ultimate lesson plan, sometimes we ace the tests, sometimes we get F’s. Thankfully, we often get to retake those failed tests. The trick is to not get the same grade next time, which can be easier said then done…Personally, I keep making Fs or D- on the ‘do not worry’ quiz.

“Finally, if hell is the capstone belief of the Christian faith, then I must ask, for what purpose does it serve? And why is it so important to you? Does it matter that you have decided to go the conformist way and others haven’t? Is one’s belief in a horrible afterlife that important? Or is it something else that is important: that freedom in Christ, the realization that He loves us where we are, where we were, where we will be, warts and all? To me the concept of hell is of far lesser importance then the concept of life, living it as best we can, with the purpose of Loving God with all that I am, and my neighbor as best as I can (which is somewhat impossible at times despite best efforts).”

I especially appreciated the part about life giving us tests.  I feel bad when I look back at the mistakes I have made, especially when it comes to social faux-pas.  But, fortunately, life gives me opportunities to do things better the next time.

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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