There's something quite fascinating in observing others' perspectives and opinions. I've also found people to be much more receptive of the Gospel if you don't treat it as something to be defended, but rather something that will defend itself. If you offer it as something to be reckoned with as opposed to displaying yourself as something that was reconciled, it's often received about as well as a stubbed toe.
This is not a post about ministering, though. This is, more than anything, a supplemental post to the prior one. Civility, sadly, is often lost when discussing something as polar and encompassing as spiritual beliefs. Sometimes on my part, sometimes on the part of the other party(ies). The thing is, though, is the non-Christian has an excuse. I'm told to expect to be rejected, even hated, because of the hope i have in Christ. I, on the other hand, have no excuse. I'm told to love unconditionally.
As said, i have a fascination with hearing what others have to say about their beliefs or lack thereof. I think the best example i could be to people who differ from me is to display love to them; listening and caring about what they say, and accepting them regardless of where they stand.
More often than not, this kind of observation leads me to hearing the opinions of atheists. Some are downright intriguing.
One that has been weighing on me heavily lately is this: In relation to the universe, we are infinitely, even impossibly small. A grain on sand along the shoreline is monumental compared to me in the universe. So how do i reconcile this feeling of vanity and pointlessness with a God that chose this planet to send His Son to, to die for me, the less-than-a-grain-of-sand human that i am?
Moreover, how do i measure my life against the universe and find worth, or hope, or meaning in death?
Well, firstly, theoretically, there's more in the microcosm (microscopic and smaller) than there is in the macrocosm (the tangible). That means there's more smaller than us than there is larger. With this, we can look into the night sky at the stars and, instead of feeling infinitely small, we feel infinitely important because there's more inside of us than there is outside of us. That is how i reconcile the infinitesimal me to the infinite God; He sees us, those He formed with His fingertips, with more desire and care than He sees the rest of the universe that He spoke into being.
That is where our worth, hope, and meaning come from; the Creator who spun us so intricately together.
But death, with all its unknowns, still poses an issue.
The issue of death is not something to be dreaded if one has their hope in God. It's going to happen, it must happen. Why, then, do we dread it so?
Death is like the night sky. It's dark, mysterious, and infinitely large to those who know no hope of God. To the Christian, it is something to see as a barrier from here to there. An end or a beginning.
In either case, whether we die tonight or in fifty years or in a hundred, it does not matter.
To the one without faith, life is a motion, and death is merely the close, and there would be no observation of anything after, so it wouldn't matter when death comes, because it will eventually come.
The one with faith, it likewise doesn't matter because we have hope in God that it will be for something, and that He has a plan for it.
It shouldn't matter to either Christian nor atheist when death comes for us; one sees death as the unavoidable end that means nothing, the other as a new beginning of which the timing was chosen and proper.
Whereas a non-believer sees a curtain in this life, a Christian intends to witness all that is going on backstage to make sure the visible stays true to course.