My Fitness

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

exit interview

I recently recalled my horrible experience as a public school teacher. When I left they conducted a written "exit interview". Being an avid day dreamer, I thought what my exit interview might look like as I left this life and entered the eternal. Certainly it would be quite different than a real one where the purpose is to try to evaluate work conditions etc. Maybe life exit interviews would be more like an "entering interview" as in entering heaven/hell. (It wouldn't be like a job interview because your placement has already been decided.) In any case, this is fictional and we can call it whatever we want.

First, what would be the purpose of such an interview? Why am I entertaining this philosophical thought experiment? I want to challenge you to ask yourself these questions and I'm curious what my own answers will be. I don't have a premeditated point to any of this. I think we will learn a bit about ourselves as we search for answers. I don't know if there will be one right answer or not. But I'm certain there will be wrong answers. Right and wrong answers alike will reflect where your treasure is and where your heart lies.

If you could return and tell the living one thing, who would you tell and what would you say? I'm not sure how to answer this question. The Bible tells a story (Luke 16:19-30) of a rich man who died and wanted Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers of what waits on the other side of an unrighteous life. But the response was that if the living do not hear Moses and the Prophets neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead. But pretending that someone might listen to me, my desire would be the same: to warn others that unrighteous lifestyle results in damnation and encourage as many as would listen to turn to Jesus and live wholeheartedly for him.

What is one thing you regret in your life that you wish you could change? This question has actually been asked many times by many people to me personally. It's a popular question. I've heard people foolishly say that they regret nothing because even their mistakes made them who they are if they are such great people and that the hurt they imposed on others was no big deal. Rather, I regret many things. I regret the times I hurt people by what I did and what I failed to do. I regret not living wholeheartedly for Christ. I regret that my life priorities were not always completely aligned with what God wanted for me. However, I understand that I live in grace. I do not need to continuously beat myself over things in the past. Instead, I can learn from my pass failures and try to do better through the strength that Christ gives me through his shed blood. He died to give me peace. But I wish I hadn't taken advantage of that grace so many times.

If you had a final saying, motto, or tombstone what would you write? A life wasted on Christ is the only life worth living. Or some other quippy saying that emphasized that Jesus is the way to happiness, peace, contentment, and serenity. Deny yourself daily and follow Christ to death so that you might know what true life is.

How do you hope people will remember you and how do you think that compares to how they will actually remember you? This is a scary question and I don't want to answer it. Ideally, I'd like people to remember me as either "that Bible girl who always talked about God" or "that gal who truly loved the Lord and wanted to draw others to him too" maybe even "that one gal who helped me understand God's love more". I'm fearful that I will be remembered as "that arrogant blabber-mouth who'd never shut-up about her antiquated views" or "that gal who was introverted to a fault and never willing to help me out."

How can you change so those two views are more aligned? Well, unfortunately for whoever holds that last view, I'm not going to change anything. I believe that the choices I've made and continue to make are completely in-line with God's desire for me. My primary goal in life is to serve God, then my husband, then my children, and then possibly others. Unfortunately for those naysayers, my goal is to please God, not man. So while people may or may not think well of me, it doesn't matter. I live my life for God not men. And with the goals he's laid out before me, I aim to be a good disciple by learning, praying, reading, listening, and serving. I serve my husband; I work, I clean, I tend his children. I serve my children; this is the most difficult. I pour myself out for them. I seek ways to serve them. I believe I was created to serve my children and raise them in the admonition of God; this is very contrary to older generations who have been known to say that they had kids to ease their chore load. My children are my biggest mission field. Unfortunately for those who think I should be serving them instead of my children, or perhaps in addition to my children, I'm sorry that they feel that way, but I'm not going to change. My children are my primary priority after my husband. The best way I can serve my children is by making sure I'm not stretched too thin. That means I'm not going to be hosting dinners like I used to do, nor am I going to be joining the soup kitchen like I used to do,  nor am I going to lead a small group like I used to do. It's always shocking to see who thinks I should be doing more, and yet at the same time it is not shocking. Selfish people will always expect me to cater to them and I simply cannot. I'm sorry that people feel that I somehow owe them something, but God has not called me to be a doormat for anyone. If I tried to please these people in the ways they desire, I would be disobedient to God and his charge on my life.

How did your lifestyle reflect your dependence on God? Although I tend to be extremely frugal, to the point that others have called me "cheap", I never felt that we had enough money. God graciously provided me with a job that I could do from home with my children nearby. My husband was given multiple jobs that we can also see only as divinely provided. But we never stopped tithing, we never stopped helping others, we never tried to stop God from giving us children because we knew that we weren't the ones providing for them anyway. It is just as easy for God to provide for us at $0/hr as it is at $5m/hr. We didn't have to worry about sickness because God would never allow us to get sick if it wasn't for his ultimate glory - whether to live through that sickness or to take us to his side. When we got married, it was for the sole purpose of glorifying God. We knew we wouldn't always be blissfully happy with each other. We knew our circumstances wouldn't always be delightful. We knew that we are fickle people. So we knew we needed a reason to get married that was bigger than us. God is our rock and foundation and our very marriage is dependent on him not moving. We are dependent on him and will gladly die to honor him. Our comfort level is unimportant compared to the glory of the next life; and our life here on earth is just the first phase of our existence and not worth getting caught up in. (That isn't to say that things on earth don't matter or that the pain and sufferings are somehow insignificant by themselves. I seek to ease the discomfort and sadness in others. I only mean to point out that in comparison to eternity, this life is nothing. A mere spec.) So Felipe and I got married because we felt that we served God better together than we did separately. 
Did your coworkers know that you were a Christian? Your neighbors? Your relatives? Your friends? I work remotely and have no contact with my coworkers. My boss knows that I am a Christian but we also have no daily interaction. My neighbors know but I have very few relationships with them. They do know that we are helpful and generous people, but they probably do not know me as separate from my household. My relatives definitely know and have varying degrees of annoyance with me. My husband's side is outright hostile whereas my side is passive and just ignores me. There's an old proverb that says, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household." I don't fancy myself as a prophet but the idea holds true here. 

All life is going to end in exactly 30 days, or maybe it won't, how will you now live? I guess this means how will I change things if I strongly suspect that life is about to end on earth but perhaps am not completely convinced. Part of me would want to quit my job and go to Disney World but if I'm wrong about the world ending, then I'm in a lot of debt with no income to pay it back. That means hedonism is out. That really puts into perspective what's important. Is my temporary enjoyment of vacations, the beach, boating, Disney, Broadway shows, ballets, concerts, TV, video games, etc anything in comparison to the ultimate glory I approach on the other side of the grave? If I die without experiencing those things just once or one more time, will I regret it? Um, no. If I could reach out to my lost relatives and neighbors just once or one more time before they died tomorrow, would I try? I try. I am not a great evangelist. I am very bad at it. I don't know how to engage people for the gospel nor any subject that is important to me. I could go on and on about the importance of exercise and nutrition, for example, but I don't think I'd even pique anyone's interest. But when I just keep to myself and my little blog, people come and ask questions and I can point them to the Bible where they can find their answers. In summary, I will now live with the urgency to share with anyone willing to listen to who God is and what the love of Christ has accomplished for them. 

Now that death is upon you and you're about to enter eternity, do you desire heaven or hell? Why? Why should you be allowed to enter heaven? I worded this question to allow for people to respond with "wherever my spouse is" or "wherever my kids are" or "wherever my parents are" etc. I think it's obvious and that I shouldn't have to point it out, but just in case I'm wrong about that - if you desire to be any place other than where God is, you reveal that God is not Lord of your life. If you desire to be with your parents, spouse, or children more than you desire to be with God, those people have become idols in your life. Instead, hope that God is just and merciful. He is and he won't make a mistake. Have faith that God is who he says he is. He is and an existence apart from him is no existence at all. I desire to go to heaven. Even if my husband and children are there and I never get to see them again for all eternity somehow, even if they aren't there, my desire is to be with my Lord and Savior and to bring him glory. I wish for my family to come with me, but that's between them and God. I trust that God knows what he's doing. I have faith that he will not accidentally or purposefully hurt me. The latter part of this question is why should I be allowed into heaven and in all honesty there is no good reason for God to allow me to be by his side. If you recall what the tabernacle looks like, (recall also that in Hebrews 8 the earthly tabernacle is a shadow of the heavenly one) I don't mind sitting at the entrance curtain in heaven just standing outside worshipping God. As long as I'm near him, I will be quite happy glorifying him for eternity. I desire to enter fully into his presence, but I trust God to do what is right. Better a servant in heaven than a master in hell. The only possible way I would be permitted into heaven would to fall 
tabernacle outline
prostrate calling for my lawyer to argue my case on my behalf. Luckily, my lawyer is the Son of the judge. And the judge always listens to his Son. My lawyer loves me so much that he saw my case and saw that it was hopeless. So he decided to take my guilt and punishment upon himself. The only way I'm getting into heaven is if God is who he says he is as written in the Bible. My assurance of salvation is more thoroughly divulged in another post. 

What are some other good questions to ask?

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