For those who don’t know, I teach eighth grade religious education at my local parish. This morning, I was going through my notes from this year’s religion classes, and I found a little scribble in the margin of my Gospel print out: “escalator to heaven?” That day, my topic for the class had been our duty as Christians to help others find Jesus. I tried to explain that in any relationship we are in — whether its a friendship, romantic relationship, or even a parent-child relationship — our primary goal should be to help the other get to heaven. I remember trying to discuss this with my religion class, but spring fever had already hit them hard, and honestly, I’m still not sure if any of them understood what I was trying to say. So, hopefully this makes sense! If not, you have my permission to send me an angry email.
Obviously, we are responsible for ourselves and our own choices. Eve’s experience in the garden showed us that neither temptation nor peer pressure is a valid excuse for disobeying the Word of God. But, if all your friends are going to go out and sin until the cows come home, is staying home that night enough to obey God? Is sitting on your couch while your friends are all out breaking Commandments willy nilly okay? I don’t think so.
Led Zeppelin has a Stairway to Heaven. But stairs are exhausting. Build an escalator to heaven. Make it easy for others to seek and find God. Better yet, become the escalator yourself! Make it so that all people need to do to reach Jesus is simply latch onto you. Deliver people safely to God and His ways.
Ask your friends to volunteer somewhere with you, or ask if they’d like to come with you to church. I find a lot of my friends made their Confirmation in eighth or ninth grade and treated it as a graduation from religion class, never to set foot in a church again until their wedding day. But our faith is one of constant growth. Nobody ever graduates or retires.
Don’t allow your friends, parents, sisters or brothers to lose their relationship with God as they age. Promote that relationship. Screw Led Zeppelin’s stairway to heaven; nobody wants to take the stairs when there’s a perfectly good escalator right next to them. Be the escalator.