This is my last post on Revelation; better late than never. The study ended months ago and my resistance to wrapping the whole thing up is perplexing. It’s unlike me to leave things unfinished. I suppose I needed time to ponder.
As I reread the final verses of Revelation (22:6-21) to refresh my memory, I hear my inner voice saying, “Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!” A reference to Lost in Space dates me, I know, but I’m just being honest. Am I a heathen?
To be fair, there are blessings in these verses as well. Warnings! Blessings! Danger Will Robinson. Perhaps what I’m picking up on is the danger in putting people into categories: believers and nonbelievers, winners and losers, haves and have-nots, etc. Revelation is very often interpreted that way. After several weeks of reflection, my personal interpretation is surprisingly simple.
NEVER MISS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TIE UP LOOSE ENDS.
With all the heavy subject matter I’ve written about in the last twenty odd posts, that’s the universal truth? For me, yes it is. Revelation taught me that to secure happiness in this world and the next, one’s spiritual house needs to be in order. We must have a sense of urgency about things like forgiveness, mending relationships, being of service, doing right instead of being right, and loving one another. This is hard work, but now may be the only opportunity. Prepare for what’s coming next; death can be unexpected. Unfinished business is messy and sometimes very ugly.
The consequence of this sense of urgency is good, clean, and joyful living (and according to Revelation, eternal life). Those who let relationships fester, wallow in greed, feed their egos, perpetuate violence, judge, and justify bad behavior suffer a living hell in this world and quite possibly the next. In my opinion, this is the underlying and uncomplicated message of Revelation.
A secular example of this principle is how we get our children ready for the new school year. We purge what’s broken and ill fitting and replace what’s discarded with new pens and notebooks, clothes and shoes. These activities renew and prepare students for smooth sailing on their eagerly anticipated academic adventures. As an empty nester, I find myself buying my husband new socks and underwear this time of year. Old habits die hard.
My Dad used to counsel, “Prior planning prevents poor performance.” This is a valid and widely accepted statement for physical, intellectual, and emotional endeavors. Preparation sets one up for success. Revelation teaches us that preparation also solidifies spiritual success; the goal is to be happy, bursting with light (holy spirit, joyful energy). Please note that spontaneity has a place in this equation. It is an important variable; joy is non-negotiable!
Revelation was a grueling study, but I’m very glad I stayed with it. Now I’ll understand the ubiquitous references to Revelation in nearly every art form. If you have never read Revelation and feel compelled to do so in the future, it is my hope that you’ll remember this blog series and find it useful.
That’s it, my shortest post to date. Another loose end tied up!