Success, failure, and even living bring with them criteria for entry. Success is easy to talk about, illusive to experience, and consistently comes with criteria. Failure is often viewed in the context of no criteria but even here there is something that “we” failed to do when compared to specific criteria of expectation, at least in the eyes of someone who is sitting in judgment that constitutes failure. Living assumes that one has passed the “engagement” criteria filter. Mentally one has to choose to live, otherwise death will come quickly. Physically food is a requirement, or detachment will automatically begin. Other criteria kick in depending on how one decides (a criteria based word again) to live.
There is a myth that God has no criteria for eternity. In fact Divinity has clear criteria that we often choose to ignore! It is important to note that the criteria can be met by every one of us, and it is the most difficult for those who we might automatically think are automatic selection. God lays out explicit terms and then notes that “only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will get in[to eternity].” (Revelation 21.27)
As I look with hope I see three criteria at the core.
First; I must believe that God hold’s the keys to hope and the future. Included in this is the fact that God has and will take care of everything.
Second, I must believe that God’s offer is something for me. Everyone has the opportunity, yet the opportunity is only realized with our “yes”.
Third, I must express points one and two. Yes to God, yes to my “self”, and then the journey begins!
There is much that follows. We will experience the process of saying yes again and again as we stray from our belief. There will be opportunities to exercise compassion and hope with those around us struggling to meet the three criteria in their own journeys. Everything that happens can be seen within the hope that God brings; warning; there will be difficult times.