1. You will be responsible for your own decisions.
You won’t have the luxury of your own personal revelation, nor can you blame an evil adversary for temptations. Instead you will understand that the still small voice you thought was supplementary is actually your own voice and as such you’ll have to make decisions on your own, discern agendas, and critically evaluate what you’re told instead of waiting for warm confirmations.
2. You will have to live in the moment.
No more storing up in your mansions in heaven, bravely awaiting the end of the world for something better. This, now, is all you have; there is no better, no won’t-it-be-great-when. There is an acceptance of the probability that the rotation of the earth, just on principles of inertia alone, will keep doing so at least through another 140 million years before we see a 25 hour day.
3. You will realize your scale and scope on earth.
You are made of “star stuff.” That’s the closest you’ll ever get to being a child of god. Everything from giant redwoods to ocean tides will give you harsher perspective and little comfort in the grand scheme of things. Instead you’ll have to take some sense of purpose in the mundane like space travel, health sciences, the ever increasing transparency of technology, and the pyramids.
4. You will be asking how instead of why.
All those unexplainable tragedies will no longer be easily explained away by divine providence. Instead, weather patterns, tectonic shifts, lawlessness, genetics, and just plain stupidity are catalysts for catastrophe. Likewise, lotteries are won by chance, couples conceive due to that zygote tango, and that giant tax return is the product of too many withholdings.
5. You will appreciate people as conduits of miracles.
To your surprise miracles will continue, but you’ll see their impetus in the humane. In fact, you may even become a miracle worker as you abandon the idea that god will take of things and decide to do something about them yourself.
6. You will need faith instead of certainty.
Predestination is now a moot point. Instead of the comfort and certainty of knowing that it’s all in god’s hands, you’ll need faith, ironically, in science, in nature, and in people. Weddings boil down to the faith in efforts of the bride and groom to make things work, and in the absence of an eternal plan, funerals have an irreparable sting only assuaged in the hope that perhaps this isn’t all there is.
7. You will love because you want to.
Crossing paths is now the sole reason why people come together. Instead of some holy confirmation of your union you’ll recognize the purity of gratitude as the catalyst of romantic attachment. Coincidence replaces destiny, being motivated by love for another replaces being compelled by a law; service becomes as common as waking, and you’ll become excruciatingly aware that despite the golden rule, millions are treated otherwise, and the hundreds surrounding you is a good place to start ameliorating the human condition (see number five).