We Don’t Have to Believe in God to Believe in Heaven

I am quite sure skepticism — in the religious sense — has existed since the beginning of time, although, sadly, it has now become the norm.

We, as a race, are generally more educated, more curious, more hungry for answers and truths. More, well, skeptical.

My husband, for example, is of the belief that God is a made up figure and that the Bible is a fable — his frustration with religion primarily driven by a greedy priest who sped off in a fancy sports car with vanity plates immediately after demanding payment from his grieving mother for services rendered at his father’s burial.

Although I’ve encountered my fair share of questionable clergymen, I’ve also witnessed my fair share of testimony — in the forms of the beauty in nature, messages from loved ones who’ve passed, and many other signs, or what I would consider proof , of the other side. And, despite my Roman Catholic upbringing, I must disagree with my better half.

However, as an educated, inquisitive, and fairly well-read New Yorker, trust me, I’ve had my doubts. Science versus religion, religion versus intellect.

If there’s a God, why is there so much turmoil among the living. If there’s a God, why did He create cancer. And why did He give it to me — and so many of my brothers and sisters.

After years of serious introspection on the subject (the answer, in my opinion, is deeply personal and must come from the soul, not from any written book or theorist.), I’ve come to have faith in a higher power. And, for me, that higher power is God.

I’ve also had the realization that, no matter where we are on our journey, it is important to have faith. Faith is the belief that there is something — or someone — more powerful than we calling the shots. And having faith is an act of courage and vulnerability, and a guaranteed pathway to living a happy and optimistic life. Faith can help us overcome life’s many difficult challenges, and the suffering that accompanies them. In other words, don’t wait ’til you’re on your death bed to rally it.

But regardless of whether — in this very moment — you consider yourself a person of faith or believe in a higher power, one thing is certain. We are all going to die.

So, if we don’t have faith or believe in any God — or in Heaven, as defined in the bible — where the heck do we think we’re going after we’re dead?

There are those who believe in reincarnation. And, lemme tell ya, after mingling with a few Brian Weiss past life regressionists, I do believe there’s something to that.

But still, where do we go in the interim, in the time between our current life and our new one, assuming we don’t just hop from one life to the next?

Outer Space? The mortuary? Limbo?!

Naw. Can’t be. Our energy — our souls — must go somewhere more remarkable than that. Right?

Going forward, I will refer to this somewhere as Heaven.

Really, what else could it be called? Heaven is a universal term, after all. One that’s already been outlined for us, even if we don’t believe it exists.

Ok, so, what is Heaven? What is it like? What do you imagine when you think of the word Heaven?

Do you imagine a place up, up in the atmosphere, among the fluffiest clouds, with actual pearly gates at the entrance, and God Himself there to greet you?

How about a windy and serene country road, meandering its way up a lush green hill, with beautiful surroundings and the most magnificent trees, and all the places you’ve always dreamed of visiting, stops along it’s path?

Or perhaps you envision standing at the foot of the ocean on the most glorious sunny day at the most stunning beach, in October, once the crowds have disappeared.

Well, what if I told you that right there is Heaven.

Seriously, that is it.

Simply put, Heaven is whatever we imagine it to be. It comes from deep within our core. Our most peaceful sanctuary, our happiest place, our very own Utopia, if you will. It is already a part of us — perhaps genetically, perhaps intellectually. Perhaps neither or both.

And if it’s not, if it’s nothing at all, would it matter? At least we spent our living days with the knowing — the faith — that we’re going someplace really wonderful and extraordinary in the end.

And, regardless of what we believe in — or don’t — this knowing can only help us enjoy the journey that much more.

So next time you find yourself practicing the skepticism of today, remember this — you can, at the very least, still have faith in Heaven.