Today I continue my series on musings and ideas about heaven. Monday I wrote in regards to how I think I would spend my initial time there. Yesterday I spent time discussing some elements of present existence that may also occur in a heavenly existence. Today, I explore some thoughts of heaven in relation to returning to earth.
Will we see the earth from heaven? Like the view from the moon, will we be able to look upon the blue and green marble resting in the deep black expanse? Will we see hell? Will we see justice enacted, eternally? If we could look on them, would we even bother? Or, if we did, how well would we see them? What if we saw the earth as we see distant planets now-- another world amongst millions of worlds in which God may be watching, moving, and working? What if hell was somewhere in the distant haze, and we knew it existed but God alone bore the sight of it?
What if heaven exists just beyond the known universe, on some other plain, wherein its borders meet that of the natural world? What if, in heaven, we walk to a shoreline of soft turf and overlook the great expanse of the ever-reaching universe in all its wonder and brilliance--not as the sky above us but as a sea before us. At present, we look upward to see the great spread of space, but what if, from heaven's perspective, it is not to the sky we look but to an ocean of stars and an abyss of black that boasts wondrous celestial bodies. And what if one could jump into this sea and swim (or fly) through nebulae or galaxies?
Do you ever wonder how the angels passed from the heavenly realm to this one? Is their a portal or door? Are human souls ever put to the same tasks, do you think? Are we "stuck" in heaven once we arrive? Are we free to go where we please? And again, I ask, would you want to?
I am sure that if the possibility existed to leave heaven to return to earth or to explore the natural universe, I would eventually take advantage, even if for curiosity's sake alone. But here's the weird thing (and you probably gleaned this from the brevity of this post), I don't really give it a great deal of thought. I ask questions like the ones above, and I think about the possibilities. In fact, I once heard John Piper claim that during eternity, the universe would be our playground. The sentiment is very neat, I think; but I don't linger on it. Inasmuch as I find the universe to be beautiful, inasmuch as I enjoy the earth, I don't feel like I am going to miss this world once I hit the other. I cannot imagine having a great desire to leave God's throne once I reach it. As my relationship with the Lord deepens, my longing to be near him and stay near him increases. Once I am actually there, directly before his throne, I am unsure I will want to be anywhere else.
How bout you?