Going through old papers and memorabilia, I ran across two pencil-scrawled smudged pieces of lined paper—my grade eight speech. I’ve typed it here as I wrote it.
It’s interesting for me to look back and hear my thoughts at thirteen. I was innocent then. Going to church with my father, obviously believed in God, was probably studying for my confirmation in the Lutheran Church.
That never happened.
A year later my world imploded and God did not survive the Father-Daughter War.
But, what I see here is my mini-INFP voice coming through and the genesis of the writer/poet. Decades later, I’m still looking for answers to these questions, though not in the bible. And I’m still asking “Who am I? Why am I here?”
I’m glad that I preserved something of who I once was. Although that little girl still exists, she has changed drastically. Experience does that.
Grade 8 Speech (12-13 years old)
Mr. Sellers and Class.
“Why are we here on this earth? What are we to do while we are here? What happens to us after we die? Is there something greater than us? What is re-incarnation? Does re-incarnation really happen?
Even the great professors and scientists of our era cannot answer these questions. The people of our so-called ingenious world, who have worked vigorously inventing A-bombs and hair bleach cannot answer these questions. Great doctors and philosophers cannot answer these questions. They have made up theories. The Earth people changed through the ages from amoeba to reptiles to apes and finally to human in the form of cavemen. All we can do is have faith.
Should the religious point-of-view be mixed with scientific theory? “Faith of our Fathers. Holy Faith.” All we can do is have faith and believe. The religious opinion cannot even fully explain why we are here and what will happen to us after we die. We cannot obtain straight-forward answers to these questions from the Bible. We do know however, that we are here and while we are here we are to do God’s will. But what is God’s will?
It states in Luther’s Catechism, we are to fear and love God, our highest superior, and love our neighbour, which is everyone in the world. These are also the two greatest commandments God gave through Moses.
What happens to us after life? A children’s verse tries to answer this question.
“I am but a stranger here. Heaven is my home. Earth is but a desert drear. Heaven is my home. Danger and sorrow stand round me on ev’ry hand. Heaven is my fatherland. Heaven is my home.”
What is this heaven? The dictionary says heaven is “the atmosphere; the dwelling place of God; the home of the blessed; God himself; supreme happiness.” Living on this earth now, we are either living in heaven or hell. Heaven is being with God and hell is without God. After we die, our soul or the spiritual and immortal part of us continues either being in heaven or hell. Heaven is a feeling towards God or to be with God—not a placid place in the atmosphere made of fleecy clouds, the entrance being gates of pearl, and strangely inhabited by angels dressed in white and playing sweet music from their harps.
I sometimes wish it was.
However, we must not let our dreams and wishes get too far-fetched. When we die we will be buried in the ground and the immortal part of our being, our soul, will go to God wherever he is.
As for the question, “is there something greater than us?” a children’s hymn tries to answer this. “God is great and we are small, but we on his name may call. When we fold our hands to pray, he hears every word we say.”
Yes, there is something greater than us. God, whom we worship in prayer, praise, and thanksgiving. God our creator. God, the supreme being who created man and woman with his own breath of life. Who was lonely and wanted something and someone to reign over. Our great God of love and salvation. But God is not always pleased with us, although he always loves us. When we are disobedient as Adam and Eve were, and when we are tempted by evil and we do evil; that is when God is not pleased. But redemption is possible by admitting defeat and going humbly to God asking for forgiveness.
We are born. We live a normal lifespan of seventy-five years. We die. We go to heaven or hell. Will we have another opportunity to relive our life? Will we come back as another human, animal, or plant? To live life’s problems over again? If you can answer yes to both of these questions then you believe in re-incarnation—to be made over again. The Bible does not mention anything about re-incarnation. However, after the Day of Judgment, we may come back to Earth.
Can the Bible, which people have been studying and reading for millions of years be wrong? One big lie?
If so, there are going to be many disappointed people in the world. The statements I chose to present to you today come from the Bible.
Will we live from day to day or will we die and float away?
If we are good upon this earth, will afterlife be another birth?
Life on Earth is one big question—to die or live, God only knows.
We are curious human beings, but no one knows where we will go.