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Dave Brisbin

Falling to Heaven

Ever think about why you’re here? On this planet? Breathing?

Maybe you have no idea, or maybe you have answers that will most likely have to do with accomplishment—things we do that give us a sense of meaning and purpose. But if Jesus and Brene Brown are right, we’re here to connect, to be at one with each other. All the rest is commentary.

Could it be that simple? Could human purpose have nothing to do with accomplishment, only how and whether we relate? Hard to process. We want to do something concrete, purposefully control outcomes. But what would accomplishments mean in isolation, with no connection to share? Accomplishments are only meaningful in the context of connection. They end at our head stones, yet we chase them as ends in themselves. Truthfully, what we accomplish is important, but only as a meaning/purpose delivery device—a means for delivering connection.

An ancient desert Christian saying: “If you see a brother by his own will climbing to heaven, take him by the foot and throw him to the ground, because what he is doing is not good for him.” The ancients understood that climbing to heaven turns our spiritual lives into a task to be completed and heaven into an accomplishment—and the mental tools we use for climbing were forged in our fear of loss and may move earthly objects around, but not heavenly ones. Life is not a task, but an experience; heaven is never accomplished or acquired, only received…a gift we could never give ourselves.

Jesus and the ancients knew that climbing can’t acquire what can only be gifted; it moves us in the wrong direction. When you’ve fallen in love, did you have to work at it? Accomplish it? Complete the task by climbing into position? There’s a reason we speak of falling in love. It’s involuntary. We can work to avoid it, but we can’t make it happen.

We can’t climb to heaven, ultimate purpose, either. We fall to heaven by letting go of everything that would break our fall. Until we let go and fall hard, we never realize why we’re here, never experience the connection that is heaven.


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