An Introduction to Pit Stops on the Road to Heaven
by Aneel Aranha
The Christian road is not an easy road to walk on. It is filled with pitfalls and hurdles and obstructions at every single turn, but with some foreknowledge about the problems that you might face and some guidance on how you can overcome them, you might make it to the end with a little more ease than you normally would. The end, of course, is heaven.
I haven't reached there yet (fortunately), but my own journey up to this point has been especially rough, involving as it did changing every single aspect of my life. I was utterly amoral before my rebirth in the Spirit, and moving from a life that did not recognize any wrong to one that insisted on doing only what was right wasn't easy. Fortunately, I had a terrific guide in the Holy Spirit who walked with me, step by painful step. I learned to recognize his voice, and more importantly, to obey it. He taught me lessons on a million subjects ranging from how to forgive, to how to love. He revealed truths to me about God and my own identity in him. He busted culturally accepted myths on sin and satan and scores of other things. Above all, he gave me the encouragement I needed to continue travelling on the road when I felt too tired or, more often, too bruised in spirit to want to take another step.
The lessons that he taught me, the truths that he revealed to me, and the encouragement that he gave me are what I share with you in the essays that follow. Some of them are simple lessons in living. Others will challenge your faith, not with the intention of undermining it, but of strengthening it. We need to know why we do what we do and why we believe what we believe. Not everything we do or believe is right. We have bought into a lot of myths that are neither propagated nor endorsed by the Catholic Church, but because they have been part of our cultural ethos for so long, we believe them to be so. It is my hope that these articles will shatter these growth-stunting myths so that we can all realize our full potential as Christians.
I do not expect you to accept anything written in these essays as gospel. On the contrary, I urge you to question every statement made here, at least in your own mind, and see if your own conclusions differ. In the event that they do differ, please refer to Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church to see what they have to say on the subject. If you end up thoroughly confused - which isn't really a bad thing - I encourage you to discuss the matter with your pastor.
Enough chatter. The road awaits us. It is a rather long road but like the old proverb says, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Let us take that step now.
And may the Spirit walk with us.
Pit Stops on the Road to Heaven Copyright © 2004 Aneel Aranha. All rights reserved.