In the airport at
A particular thought that was attributed to Mr. Graham has remained with me for a few days now. He made the comment that all of his life he has been training himself and others to prepare for death, but preparing for the elder years of life is not always taught as well. That’s a paraphrase, but accurate in context I think. Graham’s reference point for his comment regarding our preparation for death is obviously the preaching of the gospel and its embedded message of salvation. I can close my eyes and begin reciting the gospel. I have heard Graham’s powerful and remarkable version many times, delivered in his prime to thousands of listeners. I have heard other evangelistic preacher’s version many more times. One of my favorite phrases is that my mother has been to church more than Billy Graham. And if my mother was going you can bet I was taken with her until I was at least 17 years old. Now many years have passed in my life and I still have respect for Mr. Graham.
I know this has become an elaborate table setting, so I will move to some distinguishable point or observation.
I was saddened by this statement from Graham, because it exposes what in my mind can most charitably be called ‘the overlooking of something’. I don’t presume to call Mr. Graham to task. That is a risky and tricky business.
I do think the articulation of his reality that his own preparation for death is superior to his preparation for life in his elder years might give us all the desire to look at this statement in depth.
I’m not necessarily going to tackle it in any depth here. I am writing a book as I think I told you, but I do not intend to write it here. Further, I figure you have your own ideas about these things and I am interested in hearing your ideas.
It seems to me that this statement from Graham, seemingly innocuous or even slightly maudlin on his part reveals a weakness in the historic teaching of the gospel.
I believe that God intends for us, and that Jesus taught us on his behalf, that life and heaven are here and now. More specifically, I believe the
I believe every day can be fashioned as hell. Similarly each day we can look inside for heaven on earth. And this thinking requires some preparation for living don’t you see?
Preparation that Mr. Graham acknowledges is lacking in his elder years.
Perhaps I misunderstood the quote. Maybe I have spent the past few days thinking about this without understanding what he actually meant to imply.
What has occurred in my head in the interim has been an interesting process in any case. And again if I wrote all of it down, you would have to take my post on vacation with you; a sorry proposition at best.
No way to summarize my wandering. I guess its somewhat like a mountain hiker with Alzheimer’s. Lots of ground covered, I just can’t remember it all.
I do know this. Preparing to be alive is a primer for preparing to die. I’m not sure we can skip the first chapters of the textbook. I think this might be a version of God denying.
The floor is open.