Monday, December 17, 2012

Heaven at a glance

So, this morning, I was going to share some quick thoughts about my anticipation and expectations of heaven and eternity; but I realized my "little post" for Monday was becoming cumbersome and broad and thus undermining its very purpose (that's what I get for not seeing the irony of writing a short post about eternal things). Therefore, I abandoned this first plan in favor of a second, which I hope will prove just as encouraging and require only a fraction of space. I'm simply going to ask a question and respond to it briefly, in a typical three-point fashion, as a taste of things to come.

Do you ever think about heaven? I think about heaven all the time. Not more often than I should, for my thoughts of heaven do not come at the expense of the present, but I still think about that eternal existence regularly. At times I think in the strangest of ways (or maybe not the strangest of ways), but each time that I reflect on a place with God in full view, without separation and fallenness, I am overwhelmed with three reactions, and my mind is usually cleared of whatever noise is filling it at the time. My focus becomes clear, and I am renewed.

Those three things that pull my attention are as follows. First, I desperately and fully want to be in that place, not by my own hand of course but at the Lord's behest when he sees fit to call me forth to Himself. Second, I lament for those who do not believe, who either are apathetic or averse to the existence of heaven at all. I lament not only for their loss of heaven itself but their missing the experience of desiring it. I have lived my whole life within a Christian cultural context, and heaven has always been an idea within that society, but it did not become real to me until later in my years, and once it became more of an imminent reality than a concept, the expectation became so great that I could not fathom waking each day without it. Third, and finally, I am full of gratitude to God for being who he is. When I think of heaven, I am full thanks and awe--not only for what is to come but for what has come already and not only for what God has done but for who God is, perfect and hoy and true.

Oh, and a fourth thing, of course, also comes to mind when I think about heaven. I recall the words of the Apostle Paul, which he spoke in his first letter to the Corinthians (15:19):

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

How true. How unbearably true. How wasted and foolish my days have been if they are spent only to a false ideology of service and self-denial rather than a living God.

To be honest, I do not have full knowledge of what heaven will be; no man does, but I do have a hope that is grand and wonderful and full--yet only a dim echo of what heaven will actually be.

Do you think about heaven? Please comment. I would love to know what the thought of it does for you.

Thanks for reading,

No comments:

Post a Comment