Words of Encouragement From God

Sarah Tirri
February 25, 2019

What would God tell you if He felt you needed some words encouragement, which you do, all the time. 

Well, it would depend entirely on the God-type that comprises your belief system. If you have chosen to structure your reality as if there was a God, (and if you are a 'believer' this is really all you can do) and the God you have in mind has the best plan already installed for the entire human race, and that what we are evolving into is beyond the imagination or comprehension of most, then perhaps this God would encourage you to firstly consider what eternity is...

St. Paul was recorded as saying and I am paraphrasing: we live once, die once, and then if we live out eternity in heaven. 

Well, if you think he is right, read this brief piece of fiction which I wrote regarding heaven and eternity as seen through a monotheistic lens…

Paradise Lived  

a short story by Sarah Tirri

I hit the oak at sixty. My death was instant—there was not a Hyundai in existence that could have stood the force. Just a few scars on the tree trunk and an angry crow or two, but apart from that my death was met with indifference… The sun rose and the sun set and the tow-truck driver whistled along with the birds as he hauled the crumpled wreck off to the scrap yard. 

There was a bright golden light at the end of the tunnel. You couldn’t have missed it. I felt light and serene. Where was I being pulled towards? I wondered, but seeing as I felt calm and more alive than I’d ever been, I wasn’t overly concerned.

“Hello. My name is Michael.” Said the handsome robed being who greeted me.

“Hello. It’s very nice to meet you, Michael. My name is Sarah.” 

“I know who you are. Welcome. This is where your eternal life begins—some call it Paradise, some call it Heaven, others The Promise Land—call it whatever you will, it’s all the same.” 

Michael was remarkably tall and looked a bit like an angel but he did not have wings. His shoulder-length hair was the color of straw and his robe was made of what looked like multicolored liquid. I wanted to touch his robe but restrained myself.

“So,” said Michael, smiling, “What shall it be?”

“What shall it be?”

“Yes.”

“You mean, I get to choose?”

Of course you get to choose. You are creature of freewill, aren’t you?”

“Yes, I am.” I affirmed, proudly. Heaven was agreeing with me. I felt bold.

 I focused my attention on the kind of eternity I had envisioned since I had first been asked to give it a thought. I had been about six when the hymn teacher took it upon herself to prepare the thirty little faces staring back at her about their future. “Good children go somewhere beautiful,” she said with a dreamy look in her faraway eyes.

 “How about a sprawling ranch house with a wraparound porch and a swing and an inglenook fireplace on top of emerald green hills with sweeping views of the surrounding countryside—think Sussex Downs.” I said, avariciously.

Michael looked pleased as if my request deeply satisfied him. “Very good, go on.”

“I would like some horses and a lake and some maple trees, and how about a duck pond with a bridge!” The image on my mum’s favorite set of blue and white china had sprung to mind.

Without the use of a wand, my request had taken form in the shape of my new residence which sat splendidly about half a mile in front of us. My jaw would have dropped had I allowed it to. My new home was everything I had ever wanted. I remained fixed, taking in every detail, until humility gave way to the precise opposite; I was startled when my own thought stream enquired whether I had underdone it. 

 “Sarah, if you don’t like the ranch house,” Michael said with a grin, “we can offer you a castle—a big castle, they’re very popular, or even a palace.”

“A palace? Really?” 

“Of course! That’s no problem. Palaces are my forte. I have produced many excellent floor plans. Let me show you…”

The ranch house immediately transformed into a palace with porticos and columns and staircases that had been built on such a monumental scale that if the structure hadn’t been so awe-inspiring I might have considered it vulgar. I had to look away to give my eyes time to adjust to what was apparently now mine: A gleaming golden citadel.

Michael smiled, proudly. “Here’s your key, Sarah, but you won’t need it. There’s no crime here in the Eternal Realm, no weeds, pollution or rubbish, and nothing withers—all will look forever as it does now.  Go ahead, it’s yours, if you need me, call my name. I am Michael, and once again it is my pleasure to welcome you.” 

Michael disappeared before I could thank him. I was more excited than I was on the Christmas morning when Santa Claus had left me a bike, skates, and a pogo-stick. I was more excited than when my husband had bought me a brand new Escalade. I was more excited than when I had found out my third child was a girl. I had never been so excited.

Since that day, I have slept in all my four-hundred bedrooms—in feather-filled beds, and waterbeds, and four-poster beds, and beds that rocked me. Many of the ceilings were glass. Was Jupiter and all its moons really that close? 

I have bathed in all my bathrooms—all four-hundred of them. I listened to eighties music, classical music and Native American panpipes well into the late hours, sipping champagne and inhaling the aroma of jasmine potpourri. I loved to pick roses from my gardens, throwing petals like confetti: Red petals against white marble was my favorite, or white petals against the black granite. No. Pink petals against the cream, surely, but wait, what about the mauve?

My living rooms were so tastefully designed—all four-hundred of them—that I wondered whether Michael was gay. The pillows did not need plumping nor the fire places stoking, but the pianos needed playing. Without effort, I became a truly gifted pianist. Mozart popped in once or twice. He loved my dinner parties as much as I did. My staff were attentive but not ingratiating silent little angels, ghostlike and elusive, taking care of my every whim. The one with the deep voice would often read to me out loud, and the one with the bright blue eyes would carry me to my bedroom if I fell asleep in my solarium, or my spa, or on the fur rugs in front of one of my seriously countless of fireplaces.

My kitchens, all four-hundred of them, were so splendidly appointed that for several weeks all I could think about was my Aunty Joan who would have died for just one of them—especially the one built around a sunken dining room with velvet upholstered furniture surrounding a long ebony table adorned with Baccarat crystal. My Aunty Joan had passed-on twenty years before me but one day she appeared at my front door making our twenty years of separation meaningless. As a teenager my Aunty Joan had taught me to cook in her pokey little kitchen with its grubby linoleum flooring peeling back under a wonky stove with only three working burners wedged between ugly Formica countertops. Since her arrival, we spent a lot of time together listening to the choir music undulating from the surrounding countryside as we created soufflés and truffles and pies and jams. 

My fifty-five fully stocked wine cellars were a big hit with me and my Aunty Joan. The Châteauneuf-du-Pape was always the perfect temperature, and the cheese room, oh my God! 

I have read every book lining the shelves of all my libraries including, Wine for Dummies, and The Importance of Being Earnest. The third story of my favorite library was where the works of Augustine of Hippo could be found. Aunty Joan liked to read all types of religious literature, and when not in one of my kitchens, this was where she could be found. This particular library had a bridge leading to an enormous observatory. The views of the cosmos through the telescopic glass covering us often made me weep.

I caught up with all the movies I hadn’t seen back on Earth but forty out of my eighty-two movie theaters had been fitted with Move’n’Mould recliners that were just too damn comfortable and I kept falling asleep. Others offered Immersive Multimedia Technology, this kept me awake. You just wait!

Ahhhhh, my game rooms. I am now an excellent pool player and really good at air hockey, but ping-pong—ut uh. When you are learning to play ping-pong it is better practiced in confined spaces, not echoing and gaping rooms, even if they are paneled with the finest Brazilian cherry.

My favorite bowling alley resembled a 1970’s disco with its mirrored walls and its rotating strobe lights. The jukebox played all my favorite songs by my favorite bands; Abba and Queen. The person responsible for that must have known me very well. 

I suspected that all my swimming pools—indoors and out—had been on the cover of Architectural Digest. My favorite had been inspired by John Paul Getty’s Malibu mansion or it could have been the other way around. I spend endless hours sunbathing and swimming and surfacing in whatever grotto I could hold my breath long enough to reach. Sometimes hummingbirds would fly in after me. 

When I felt child-like and in need of a thrill, I would head to one of my many water-parks with their labyrinth of rides, slides and tunnels. I always felt childlike after visiting one of my water parks, especially if I had been to one of my wine cellars, prior.

My acoustically everything ballrooms would have taken Cinderella’s mind off both her ugly sisters. Beneath the glass floors, the marine life came and went. A whale I named Mildred always appeared when she heard Ravel’s Bolero—pirouetting beneath me—and heading back out into the great unknown. Several of the ballrooms turned into ice rinks, and I would change into countless costumes retrieved from my enormous closets, each filled with couture that Yves and Christian would have gushed over.

My tennis courts have been well-used but look as new as the day Michael handed me my pointless key. I can now serve a ball at a whopping one-hundred and twenty-eight miles an hour.

I have made countless treks through all of my mazes which were inexplicably reconfigured when I began to memorize the route.

The gazeboes had been strategically placed so I could look down upon my rose gardens. Looking into a rose is better that look at it. I spent many days— and I consider them well spent, painting the roses then hanging the artwork in my countless (literally) guest cottages.

My championship golf courses never got much use—not in the conventional sense—but they were a great pace to gallop my thoroughbreds. The divots vanished the moment a hoof created them.  

 My underground garages were jam-packed with Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Bentleys. The garage doors opened automatically allowing me to accelerate straight onto my ninety-mile racetrack that took me over vast lakes and up into the clouds. I liked to test their performance—hitting hairpin bends at breakneck speeds and drifting the back end. There is no such thing as injury or death in the eternal realm; this means one can be courageous without actually needing to be. 

The animals in my eleven thousand acre zoo were wild, but friendly. After a while, I let the chimps out and they walked around it with me, one called Moo liked to hold my hand. 

My state-of-the-art amusement park is a place full of memories—I am a child at heart, especially after a visit to one of my you-know-wheres. My home was where my heart was with all my long-lost friends and relatives coming and going amongst my long-lost pets who were now alive and well wagging their tails as we all lived happily ever after. I have sculpted figurines, mastered twenty-eight languages, written novels, and played Twister. I have crocheted a sweater while my toes were painted and my hair braided. I have hiked, planned for a white Christmas, reminisced, and rolled in hay. I have actually nibbled on sponge cake while watching the sun bake before finding my long lost shaker of salt. I found myself wasting away again in Margaretville, again and again and again, until I screamed, “MICHAEL, WHERE ARE YOU?”

“I am here. Sarah. I have never been far away. It’s nice to see you again.” Michael looked just as he had on the day the tunnel of light had brought me here.

“How are you?”

“I am fine, healthy and fit. I’m glad you came.”

“I’m glad to be here. Is there anything you need?  A rockwall? A basketball court? A butterfly garden? What about a field of tulips?”

“No thanks.” 

“Turnips?”

“No, I don’t need fields of anything. Thank you, though.”

“But if you wanted fields of anything, you can have them. You know that.”

“I know, but there’s nothing more I need, but at the same time I need something more.” 

“Well, tell me, Sarah, have you explored further afield. We have unsullied springs, rivers of milk and honey. And for those who are attracted to all that glitters, we have gleaming cities made from pearls and rubies. Have you seen the streets paved in gold? You should, they’re breathtaking. Come with me, let me show you.”

On the way, Michael told me about the lofty gardens, and shady valleys, and fountains scented with camphor and ginger. “We have crystal clear rivers flowing into valleys made of opals; we have Gardens of Bliss and Gardens of Delight, too! This is a place of no sickness, no regret, no guilt, no sadness, no crying, and no mourning. There are people who have killed for all this back on Earth. Did you know that? 

“Perhaps they’ve never been to paradise. This is not worth killing anyone over.”

“You don’t like it here?”

“I do, I think it’s beautiful and easy and luxurious and peaceful...”

“My child, this is a reward, a gift, a place of perfect rest and recuperation from the stern realities of life on Earth. I think if you were able to change your attitude, you might indeed find within you the joy necessary to be grateful.”

“I am grateful, truly.” The fact that I was able to lie so casually did not seem to deter Michael, he simply smiled and took my hand, leading me out into the surrounding countryside. Was the road beneath us really paved with yellow brick? 

We arrived at The Garden of Delight to the pleasure-filled sounds echoing from within the gates. I was embarrassed. As I followed Michael in, I saw a place inhabited by olive-skinned men wearing long green garments of fine silk and heavy brocade. Untouched maidens with beautiful oval eyes were in attendance, doting on them and massaging their flesh before leading them from their raised thrones to more secluded places of soft clover. There was something lifeless about the maidens. The otherworldly servants who attended me had possessed the same aloofness. 

As we exited the gates, Michael continued: “That is the most popular afterlife for a race of pious young males whose passion for the pleasures of the flesh was something they felt burdened to restrain while back on Earth. The length that some unfortunates go to to get here causes a lot of tears for all who suffer. But for those who resist the persuasion to exit Earth amorally, consider and experience this afterlife as a reward for their Earthly sacrifices. Souls wake up every morning without memory of the day before, making every day as intoxicating as the first.” 

Michael ushered me back through the gates.  I was overwhelmed.

“Michael, last night when I was counting the door knobs, I thought of a new recipe, it’s a bit like the one I made last week, but this time I will add lemon instead of orange…”

“I know of a flourishing lemon grove planted in soils of saffron not far from here. The trees are older than Eden and the fruit, sweet and juicy. The gentle breeze accompanied by the sweetest of birdsong will serenade us, but if you prefer the harp or even bells, let me know.”

“Thank you.” I said, wanting to scream.

 Michael took my arm, and as we walked towards the lemon grove, he reminded me of some of the other things that I could possibly do…

…“If you would like to sit cross-legged and stare at a cloud for several hundred years, why not? You’ve got to do something to fill in the time. You may decide to stare at a fig tree for eighty-seven years? No one will object. Compare eighty-seven years to eternity and it will feel like the blink of an eye, anyway. I know, you could sit here on this beautiful patch of grass that belongs to the pea family. Here, you can give eternity a bit more of a thought. I’ll sit with you. I have all the time in the world too, but remember, your recreational options are many—but not endless as eternity is.”

I sat down on the grass next to Michael. The thought of baking a cake no longer persisted. A familiar and well-worn thought once again had me firmly in its grips:

“Michael, there must be something more to the afterlife, surely?” 

“There is.”

“What?” I said, not meaning to sound so petulant.

“For that answer, you will have to shed all notions of what this place means to you. Did you really think this to be the be-all-and-end-all of the human drama? That the great climax to the struggles of the human race resulted in their reward being the most stifling and mind-numbing thing that will ever happen to them. What considerate God would do that? What you have just experienced was just the antechamber—a preparatory stage of exquisite boredom that all souls go through to shed themselves of any type of conditioning that limits their notion of Creation and the potentiality of God.”

I laughed. I nodded. I understood,  happy that the nightmare had finally come to an end. I began to think about the last seven hundred years. Would I miss my palace? Maybe, maybe, not, but who cared. I didn’t. My mind was suddenly alive with the revelation that evolution had already been enacted to its fullest extent, and that human beings were kindergarteners sojourning through the early part of it. A rapture of angelic song began to fill the air, celebrating my emancipation alongside me.

The End

Back to Words of Encouragement From Me, God…

Just by considering how long eternity actually is, you will have submerged yourself in a highly therapeutic spiritual practice that often leads to the un-burdening of self-condemnation. Considering how long eternity is actually has the tendency to reduce your earthly drama to more inconsequential proportions where you begin not to take your problems so seriously. After you consider how long eternity is, you will see your dramas through a special kind of lens which will tell you, “You know what baby, it’s not that big-of-a-deal in the overall scheme of things.” This is a supremely beneficial way to look at life—it de-intensifies things. It is important not to identify with your earthly dramas too completely, because if you do, it has the potential to become a bit of a nightmare. By firstly imagining, then keeping the idea of eternity in your awareness, it’s easy to see that the drama’s you face are actually an infinitesimally-minuscule, myopically-minute part of your total experience and that within the grander scheme, every poor choice, no matter how demeaning and how frequent, is just itty–bitty infinitesimally small interlude, a petty drama of trifling cosmic significance. The consciousness you started out with eons ago will continue to expand eternally, so will your experiences and your Creations. In terms of who you will become, ninety-two years of physical existence, no matter had awry it might go, doesn’t mean that much. Having considered all this, you might not be surprised to know that a little more is actually going on within the realms of Creation than you once thought. Having considered all this, the spring in your step that you have been missing, might return.

With a spring in your step, embrace whatever religion you want if that helps you on your journey, but sidestep the creeds and doctrines which require you to believe you are a member of a fallen race and the best you can hope for is to score a place in some eternal paradise when all is said and done. I am not that unimaginative. I encourage you to understand that you are not casualties of some botched experiment. You are not perversions of what I originally intended. There are no fallen angels or devils on the loose because I did a better job than that. You either believe in a God of Magnificence or you don’t. 

St. Paul was in touch with some measure of truth, but he lacked the spiritual foresight that modern man is in a better position to possess. I appointed you to live and die on Earth a lot more than once, and I did this because what you are evolving into requires it.

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