We were watching a Christian program on TV and I made an off the cuff comment that sometimes it is very difficult being a Christian considering all the world’s temptations and how many non-believers seem to have it so good.
My Australian Aunt Gertrude who is staying with us for a (long) while, stopped knitting and said “No one said it would be easy, cobber! Jesus never said "you'll all get into Heaven no worries mate!" ”
I smiled and she continued.
“If the Good Lord meant us all to return to Him in Heaven He would have created a load of senseless boomerangs! We'd live our life here with smiles all round and then boomerang back to paradise. Well, it ain't like that I tell ye ... just take it from me!”
I smiled again at her interpretation of Scripture and before I could say anything she went on.
“But the Good Lord is wise and kind you see. He gave us the choice to choose between going to Him in Heaven or spending eternity in a hell hole hotter than the outback! We must make that choice, it just ain't automatic fair dinkum and all that!”
I must say I never realized she had such opinions. She is Christian all right but she never talks religion … until now.
“It is not compulsory to go to Heaven!” she announced as if she’d discovered a newly found secret, “we have a choice to make between Heaven or roasting our backsides for ever in the outback!
“And for us to make the choice between good and evil, God had to allow evil in the world.
“If evil didn’t exist then we’d have no choice to make; and with no choice we’d all do good and we’d boomerang back to Heaven.
"What I'm sayin fella ... is that we'd be like robots with no brains to make a choice with. But as I said, if you were listening, God being kind and all that, gave us the freedom to choose ... that's a great gift which we often take for granted mate!”
I stifled a laugh at her colourful explanation of Free Will and imagined her as a preacher in her native Australia.
“So as I was saying before you interrupt me fella …” she continued, “God allowed evil to happen in the shape of the devil. He allowed him to exist and gave him the freedom to tempt us into his evil ways.
“His temptations come in many shapes and sizes … from the tiny piece of chocolate to a cigarette, a bottle of drink or spending a lifetime bonking someone we’re not married to!”
At this I had to let out a laugh. She frowned like an old school teacher chastising a little naughty child.
“I’m sorry Auntie,” I said, “I am not laughing at you, I’m laughing at your way of expressing yourself.”
“That’s OK fella …” she smiled, “it's just that I feel there are so many Christians in name only. But they aren't fooling God ye know ... They may think they are holy and do-gooders but the Lord isn't easily fooled by their false piety and hideous sins.
"I know it isn’t easy being a Christian. What, with life being as difficult as it is and we're all rushing around like our derrière is on fire. But Christianity is a way of life my friend. It's not a badge one wears on one’s lapel. And when life gets difficult the Good Lord and His Mother Mary will help if we ask them.”
“Are there any Australian Saints?” I asked for no apparent reason.
“I don’t know cobber,” she replied, “but if there are they’d be quietly spoken, shy and demure; like most Australians are!” she smiled.
Excerpt from the book No Worries Mate!!! By Victor S E MOUBARAK – ISBN 978-1542688499 From Amazon