I’ve heard that Hell is a lake of fire….a place of endless torment and gnashing of teeth, wailing…terror and pain.
We ate at Taco Bell yesterday…and it got me thinking about what Hell might also be.
What if Hell was more subtle than most of the pictures we’ve seen?
What if it was a place of constantly lowered expectations and ever-present dissatisfaction?
What if it was a place where your needs were “almost met”…but you were always sorry you’d ended up there?
Or maybe a place like a Taco Bell….where the door only opened in, and when you’d stepped foot in the restaurant, you couldn’t exit.
We ate at Taco Bell yesterday.
It was more “painfully interesting” than usual. Bone chillingly cold ( the heat was broken or something) and the food definitely reflected the happiness of the employees.
It was pretty sad. Bean burritos the size of a roll of quarters…everything else haphazardly prepared and …lacking verve.
Maybe that’s it….these fast food employees had lost their verve. No verve at the Bell.
It was so bad…it got me thinking about Hell.
It was that bad.
Now, somewhere, someone may read this that takes unction with any earthly comparison with eternal damnation.
“BLASPHEMER!!!! THOU SHALT NOT EQUATE MY HELL WITH A POORLY RUN FAST FOOD RESTAURANT!!! I HAVE A LIFETIME INVESTED IN ESCAPING THE FIERY PIT….AND I WON’T ALLOW YOU TO MAKE LIGHT OF IT. I’LL CAST YOU DOWN MYSELF BEFORE I’LL LET YOU MAKE LIGHT LIKE THAT!!!!”
It seems sometimes that for some folks, the main pleasure of Christianity is being on the side that escapes damnation.
All that “other stuff”, the stuff like Love…and Salvation…well that’s just a vehicle for avoiding a wrong turn into the LAKE OF FIRE.
It’s like Christianity is just a well programmed GPS or something…”turn right, turn right…RECALCULATING, RECALCULATING, RECALCULATING!!!!”
I love that old story about two banquets. I don’t remember how the guy gets to see the two feasts…but when he enters this room there’s two beautiful dinners prepared at two long tables.
The angel that’s showing him around takes him to the first table.
He’d never seen so much beautiful food. Piles and piles of deliciousness….ready to eat and enjoy. But when he takes a closer look, he notices that all the people on both sides of the long table have 3 foot utensils, forks and spoons, attached to their hands.
They are frantically trying to eat…but the “extensions” make it impossible for them to reach their mouths. They can’t do it. As hard as they try, they can’t get any food.
The angle is wrong…they can’t reach.
They can’t even take care of their own needs.
It’s pretty dire..pretty grim.
Then the angel takes him over to the other table.
This table is different. The food is the same..but the people are happy at this table.
It’s a raucous party…unrestrained and joyful. These people are really enjoying themselves at this second table.
The man studies the table for a second and then notices something interesting.
Instead of trying to feed themselves and failing, the people at this table are feeding the people across from them.
The “3-foot attachments” are perfect for that.
Everyone is satisfied at the second table.
The angel asks what the person saw, and the reply is that at the first table everyone was sad…they couldn’t take care of their needs.
At the second table, people were helping each other and they were joyous.
The angel replies that the answer was correct…and then he explains that the first table was Hell…and the second table was Heaven.
That is a cool story!
I think Hell is a lot worse than the worst Taco Bell.
A small burrito is not eternal damnation.
I do start to wonder if constant disappointment wouldn’t be a pretty bad thing to endure for eternity.
A chance of finding joy covers a lot of ills.