Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die to get there.
I first heard the above quote many years ago but have never tried to learn its source. I looked it up and here is what I found:
According to research by quote maven and Oxford English Dictionary contributor Barry Popik, the earliest verifiable use of this insightful saying seems to be as a song title and lyric by Delaney. The date of the song’s composition is uncertain, but it was mentioned as one of Delaney’s popular sings in an article about him in The Afro American newspaper on October 16, 1948. Delaney was a prolific blues and jazz music composer whose career started in the 1920s.
I am not at all surprised that a African-American blues singer was the author although the last few words seem to have been added later.
Those who reject the idea of a life after this one don’t want to leave as there is nothing out there. They basically don’t believe that there is an underlying spirit around us that survives death. What I find sad about some of these folks is that they seem to spend their life trying to convince others of their viewpoint. If I thought this was it for me and my spirit I would try to spend my only life more productively.
Those who look at their life and think maybe they have not earned heaven don’t want to leave. That is also one of the reasons for so many deathbed conversions. They fear the consequences of what they have done or maybe not done with their life. Then there are those who believe that they took an altar call many years ago as “fire insurance” but they just don’t know if the policy is really up to date.
Those whose world has been totally self-centered fear losing the spotlight in the next world. I am very familiar with one such person. She insisted on having the attention on herself throughout her life. I think this person really had doubts that that was the way their creator intended them to live and therefore dreaded what might be beyond.
I personally don’t dread death especially as my body continues to degrade. There will likely come a point where I just want to end the pain and suffering. But I hope that time is still many years away. 🙂 I am coming to believe that when God says he wants all people to come to him that he will eventually make that actually happen; maybe not in this life but in the next one or somewhere in between. In some ways I really look forward to seeing just what is beyond this life and to learn just how badly we have botched our interpretations of what heaven really is. I think every living soul, popes and all, will be very surprised just how little we could conceive what God has in mind for us in the next world wherever that might be.