Sadness in heaven | AspenTimes.com

Sadness in heaven

Roger Marolt

Is there sadness in heaven?It is the place that is perfect, where we’ll be free from human suffering for eternity. It is where we will exist when all that is left is goodness and kindness, apart from any worry. It is the reward for fulfilling our lives in love with all of creation.But, will there be sadness there?Sometimes I am troubled that I have the temerity to ponder this, a man of conviction. Yet, I am unable to not ask the question, a man of reason.Yes, I believe in God. I have drawn that conclusion based on everything I see, because science can explain only the unknown things that are subject to measurement, and because in a cost/benefit analysis I see unfathomable upside in placing a bet here coupled with limitless potential for downside putting it anywhere else.Even still, I cannot help but wonder: Can pure happiness be void of sorrow?I believe that God’s love is beyond comprehension. I believe it because I am his child, and my point of reference is the degree to which I love my own children. Further, because I am subject to the frailties of humanness, I believe that he loves me even more than I am capable of loving them, although I don’t know how it’s possible.This concept feeds a quandary: What if one of my children forsakes me or, worse yet, mankind in some heinous way? Could my children do anything that would cause me to stop loving them? Even considering atrocities that others have committed throughout history, I doubt it. But there certainly could be circumstances where I would turn them away. This is the reflection that evokes the sadness that I contemplate of heaven.Things are not all right in the world. We continue to wage wars on each other. We hurt. We maim. We kill. Greed rules thought, as well as actions. As many people on this planet go to sleep hungry each night as not. I doubt we will leave this world a better place.Do hatred, self-indulgence and waste simply dissipate in the end? At a more naïve time in my life, I believed that the love we foster is the only thing we take to the next life; everything else could be shed as unwanted baggage. It seems more likely to me now that we cannot disavow all the evil we are aware of and we will be saddled with the proportion we are responsible for. When the Creator looks down upon what we have done with what has been given us, he cannot be totally pleased.If he must turn away even one of us, whom he loves so profoundly, isn’t it from him that the sadness will originate? In our own love for him, won’t empathy be the sadness that the rest of us in turn bear? Along with the dread borne by those he rejects, this would appear to result in universal sadness.Then again, maybe God no longer loves those whom he must ultimately shun. But, isn’t failing to love akin to hatred, or at best apathy? I would rather believe that in Heaven there exists neither of these. It would be too similar to this life. Given the choice, I prefer eternity with some sadness. At least sadness needs love to exist.On a less harsh level, even temporary separation from loved ones offers the prospect of sorrow. When people near to us pass away, we miss them. How can they not miss us, too?I understand that God’s love is supreme. Will it ultimately come at the exclusion of all other love and relationships we foster? In meeting him, will we forget about everyone else? Finding love here is the noblest purpose of our existence, so that prospect doesn’t seem likely.The entire specter of human life, no matter how many billions or more years it ends up being, will amount to an illusion, insignificant in duration compared with infinite existence. Even so, for that relative spark of a moment when we leave this familiar life behind, there must be some pain for the good we will miss, even if new joy overwhelms it.So, I have to ask again: Is there sadness in heaven? Can there be love without pain?Does asking these questions shake my core beliefs? Of course it does. The evidence of that are the questions that I pose. Nonetheless, heaven is where I want to be.I am not looking for answers where I know there are none. Pondering these things makes me realize there are many things I cannot now know. Ultimately, every question has a definitive answer. For those that we have no means to discover on our own, we must defer to a higher power. In that, faith grows strong.Roger Marolt knows it’s not polite to talk about religion and politics. That’s why he does. He’s excused himself to roger@maroltllp.com.

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