Life is quite a ride. I just finished a 4300 mile ride through 8 states over 16 days fraught with heat, cold, smoke, wind, snow and tight twisty roads. Loved it. Life is fraught with dangers, struggles and hardship....but we can still love life. We just need to know how to ride well. Struggles with God are the where the springs of faith can start to flow.
Deep down in my gut where I sense something is true or has to be true is where my wrestling God takes place. Since becoming a chaplain 23 years ago my wrestling matches have been a bit more intense, you might say. Maybe just getting older with a little more life under your belt sometimes brings with it a deeper sense of meaning and a willingness to admit you don't have nor have to have all the answers.
For instance, and I know this will make some squirm, I have been on numerous call outs as a chaplain tending to those experiencing tremendous loss and met some of the most kind, gracious and loving people who we Christians would say aren't "walking with the Lord" or "know Christ" or have ever "accepted Christ." In my gut in some of those moments early on in my chaplain career I'd wrestle with God wondering to myself, "God...these are wonderful, loving people. Surely, their destiny can't be hell. They love as well as anyone I know. You are the God of love. Love comes from you. You created us to love. These people love. What is their eternal destiny?"
Of course, we label those who believe everyone will go to heaven as universalists but I hope bringing up this subject doesn't immediately provoke labelling and instead stimulates deep consideration for how the world works...how God views the lovers of the world who don't meet the standard for entering eternity laid out in the Christian interpretation of the bible. I and my soul, if you can separate the two, are a work in progress. I'm ok with that. Are you?