Will St. Peter Call Your Name?

“For some reason I can’t explain, I know St. Peter won’t call my name. Never an honest word but that was when I ruled the world.” – Chris Martin (Coldplay), from Viva La Vida

Christians believe St. Peter, who was one of the twelve original Disciples of Christ, stands in front of the gates to heaven and is charged with the responsibility of announcing, upon our deaths, who is entering heaven and who is not.

The belief is we are not guaranteed a spot in heaven – we have to earn it. Only upon hearing our names called, are our souls allowed to enter into a blissful eternity.

How we live our lives, how we love the ones closest to us, the honesty we demonstrate and the choices we make all determine if we will be included on St. Peter’s list (or some other list for that matter). Conscious self-examination is needed on a daily basis otherwise we run the risk of missing out on something wonderful.

Regardless of your religious beliefs, and even in the absence of any spiritual connection or association, each one us has the responsibility of leaving this world in a little better condition than how we found it. This is because we are all a part of the human condition.

Brother looking after brother and sister looking after sister helps to ease the pain, suffering, oppression and disappointment we experience. To continue to live, exist, and survive in this world, and in the next world, humans need one another.

There are many places we can look to find the code, the answers, we need when its time to pass from this life to the other. However, as complex as life gets at times, the best answers can also be the least complicated.

In the book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, author Robert Fulghum provides a blueprint for this simplification and helps me to paint some context for how I want to live my life so I will hear St. Peter call my name.

Share Everything. Yes, share the cookies and the toys, but also share your experiences, your fears, your accomplishments your love and your heart. Others will benefit from what you have learned.

Play Fair. Remain honest and tell the truth. Seek opportunities for mutual gain with the people in your life. Lift others up and be mindful of their needs as well as your own.

Don’t Hit People. Violence and aggression are only temporary measures to get someone’s attention and obedience. True and lasting respect is earned by listening and responding appropriately. None of us have the right to force our will upon someone else’s.

Put Things Back Where You Found Them. Respect what belongs to others. Care for the things you have in your life and watch them continue to grow and flourish.

Clean Up Your Own Mess. Take 100% responsibility for your actions. We are responsible for the decisions we make and we are accountable to our family and friends for our words and deeds.

Don’t Take Things that Aren’t Yours. Honor the boundaries set by others. Don’t claim ideas or thoughts that are not your own. Allow love to happen naturally. If it goes away, don’t grasp it so tightly you damage, or kill its spirit or potential to love again.

Goldfish and hamsters and white mice even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.” – Robert Fulghum

Say You’re Sorry When You Hurt Somebody. Be humble and show regret when appropriate. Ask for forgiveness and allow your soul to be cleansed by the healing it offers.

Warm Cookies and Cold Milk are Good for You. Take good care of yourself. Fill yourself up with what gives you the most energy and the most passion. Self-care is just as important as caring for everyone else in your life – you are just as worthy to receive the warmth it provides.

Live a Balanced Life. Work hard and play hard, too. Follow your heart’s desire while you provide the basic necessities.

When You Go out into the World, Watch out for Traffic, Hold Hands and Stick Together. Life is meant to be shared. You have the responsibility to watch over others and to help keep them warm and safe. The human bond, the human connection, requires this from us.

Like everyone else, I not sure how much time I have left. Rather than living with fear or regret, I choose to embrace each day and live each day to its fullest the best that I can. Along the way, however, I’m preparing and getting ready for my eventual reality.

When the moment arrives my hope is I won’t be waiting anxiously to hear if St. Peter calls my name. Instead, I will walk in the direction of his voice. Upon hearing my name, I will stop before going any further. I will take a brief moment to acknowledge my efforts and the efforts of others. I will say a quick prayer of thanksgiving as my soul evaporates into the light to begin its next journey.

Life does continue for all of us. We don’t have to rule the world to make certain this happens; we just have to remember to take care of each other along the way.

Alex Blackwell

Alex Blackwell is author of The BridgeMaker, a lifestyle blog dedicated to finding faith, sharing inspiration, and highlighting stories of personal change.

Latest posts by Alex Blackwell (see all)

17 Comments

  1. Alex,

    Thanks for this article – I really enjoyed it even though I’m don’t believe St. Peter is up there waiting by the gates to heaven. I guess the key for me was this paragraph:

    “Regardless of your religious beliefs, and even in the absence of any spiritual connection or association, each one us has the responsibility of leaving this world in a little better condition than how we found it. This is because we are all a part of the human condition.”

    Reply
  2. Very nice advice which transcends religious boundaries – the golden rule, in fact!

    Reply
  3. What a beautiful article!! It’s inspiring in that we do our best to lead fulfilling and purposeful lives. We love, share and respect each other. We revel in the joy of our human relationships.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Evelyn Lims last blog post..Planet Of Dreams

    Reply
  4. Nice article, Alex. It did bring up questions for me around the idea of having to be “deserving” in the eyes of Spirit, God, the Universe, Source, whatever terminology fits. I don’t think we have to “do” anything in order to “get in” to heaven (which, in my book anyway, is right here, depending on whether we are creating heaven or hell right now). If we simply focus on being our authentic, Divine Selves, all the rest follows. If we focus on expressing our Divine Self, then we cannot help but inspire others to do the same.

    Blessings,
    Andrea

    Reply
    • I agree Andrea. We are each “more than enough” when we are our Divine Selves; as a result, we don’t have to do anything, we can simply be. Thanks for sharing this important perspective.

      Alex

      Reply
  5. Excellent, Alex—the basics of making the world better, and in doing so, ourselves (as we are all one) better as well.

    As you the least, so you treat us all.
    For we are the same, strike one and none escapes the pain…..

    Blessings to you, dear one,
    CG

    CG Walterss last blog post..Better Than Sitting Around the House Doing Nothing

    Reply
  6. “Share Everything”

    I never knew how important this was. Well, that is, up until I started going to AA. The people there, sharing their individual experiences has helped me through a very difficult time in my life.

    Thank you for a wonderful port.

    Reply
  7. I do like the content of your article and agree they are all great ways to live, but have one problem with it, they are not ways to get into heaven. You mention what Christians believe about St. Peter, yet also state that we must EARN our right to enter heaven. Christians don’t have to earn anything. Jesus Christ died for and earned that right himself for every single person who ever, who still does and who ever will live, period.

    Its by God’s grace we each have heaven as a gift, if we choose to love Christ as our Savior and accept him. There is nothing to be earned as a Christian.

    Mike Kings last blog post..What BIG Change Can You Make?

    Reply
  8. I am a Christian, but I consider the story of answering to St. Peter more allegorical than factual. However, I do believe that we are definitely accountable for our actions.

    Christ taught this, that our actions are important, but he also said that the “first and foremost commandment is to love God…..and the second commandment follows from the first, to love thy neighbour as thyself”.

    Christ also said that “Man cannot achieve the Kingdom of Heaven on good works alone” which to me means that we must have a connection with God.

    Mark McCullaghs last blog post..How To Increase Your Blog Traffic With Google Social Bookmarking

    Reply
  9. If I consider my (ongoing) life a gift, which I do, then I figure it makes total sense to act accordingly: out of gratitude, love, and a deep sense of trying to achieve my fullest potential as a human being on this planet.

    Jesus said many of those things you listed above, and I think they’re great words to live by. He embodied kindness, forgiveness, sharing, and so on. And Buddha said, “Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” (One of my favourite quotes, and what I believe is my life’s purpose.)

    These are the things I try to live by — if not to “get to heaven,” then to at least be true to my soul.

    Stephs last blog post..Voluntary Lab Rat

    Reply
  10. PS. I think the concept of merit stems perhaps from medieval Catholic beliefs, when they sold indulgences, for example, and did a great deal of things for sacrifice. To a certain extent, some of this continues today and I was certainly raised on it: that if I was good and did good things, that if I sacrificed, I would get to heaven. If I prayed such and such, I would be granted such and such. I think it’s a grave matter of misunderstanding.

    The argument surrounding this stems from the different interpretations of two passages in the Bible that speak of works and faith.

    I personally believe, as I said above, that it’s nothing to do with merit. If you believe as a Christian that Jesus died for you, then you will simply act out of gratitude. Not to achieve anything but rather in thanks. The “works,” I would say, should be automatic. If you show no gratitude and don’t act at all the way your points describe (whatever your beliefs are, in fact), you turn your back on what it means to be gifted with life and as part of humankind. You’re not a team player, so to speak! In that case, from where would you derive your meaning?

    Stephs last blog post..Voluntary Lab Rat

    Reply
  11. This was a beautiful and inspiring article. Many people will agree with following this blueprint when it comes to adult relationships. I wish more people followed these when it comes to parenting.

    When raising my children I was always pressured by my mother and others in my culture to use corporal punishment, violate my children’s privacy,
    avoid apologizing even when I was wrong, among other strict parenting practices.

    Sadly I sometimes yielded to the pressure, but most times I applied the kinder alternatives by reminding myself that I was also building memories and a foundation upon which my children would live their lives.

    Now that my children are adults, I see that I was right to teach many of the things on your list by example. I was no pushover and my kids appreciated the boundaries. But thankfully I was not the controlling tyrant that my mom and elders were pushing me to become.

    Flora Morris Brown, Ph.D.s last blog post..Wordless Wednesday

    Reply
  12. Thank you for this fantastic resource.

    As a reader and a fellow blogger I always love the quick tips for achieving success in a certain topic or situation. They are quick, trim, and easy to remember!

    Your articles really speak to me, help me understand what it is to be great. I truly appreciate them.

    Ibrahim | ZenCollegeLife.coms last blog post..30-Day Self Mastery Challenge

    Reply
  13. Thanks for the article! You definitely offer some great advice to make this world a better place. However, I think you misunderstand one of the most foundational beliefs of Christianity, that being it is impossible to earn your way to Heaven.

    “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” Ephesians 2:8

    Throughout all of history man has tried to earn their way to heaven by doing good and trying to please God. This is fruitless effort that may produce temporary happiness but leaves people empty an unsatisfied. It is only by trusting and loving the penal sacrifice of Jesus Christ, that we can be saved and enter into blissful eternity.

    Reply
  14. Great post. I try to tell my girlfriend violence never solves anything. But when she gets mad…i get hit on the arm (a bit weak tho) Usually leads to great make up.. So i can say all violence is bad..:)

    Reply
  15. I love this article. The 4th paragraph is what really stands out to me. I wish we could all agree, and all get along, no matter of race, religion, sex, etc.

    God bless you

    Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. What Grown Children Owe Their Parents | Telling It Like It Is - [...] for elderly parents in order to lead a truly peaceful, happy and contented life, but also because St. Peter …
  2. Where Have I Been? | The Next 45 Years - [...] Will St. Peter Call Your Name? [...]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>