For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. (2 Corinthians 5:4)
The idea of heaven used to scare me. Mostly, I was afraid of the boredom – imagine doing the same thing, forever. No end. I’ve heard that perfection excludes boredom – but I’ve also heard that imperfections make life interesting.
As Christians, we are called to imagine the unimaginable. I misunderstand perfection if I believe that imperfections are what provide life it’s space. This assertion might be true now, but here’s the thing: We are not in heaven. When we fall down here, our knees get bloody and our shins get scuffed. We are forced to face pain. When we lose something here, we grasp and cling to what we still have. We grow acutely aware of want and regret. These are moments with God. Here, now, we must have our lives knocked out of our hands if we’re ever to hold anything worth keeping.
But imagine: It is not the place that matters; it is you. Imagine you’re different; imagine you don’t have to lose to know. Imagine you don’t have to fall to let yourself be held. Imagine you do not cling to power like a despot; imagine you give it away without fear. You’re connected to a current so strong, you know it will carry you. For the first time, you trust freely.
You’re at the gates, and the light on your face is alive. Already it knows you, and for a split second you dare to forget who you are; the beauty is enough. Then your name returns to you, and it has changed. Now you know what it means.
If we don’t really believe in heaven – so deeply that it captures our hopes and dreams – then something is terribly wrong. Our foundation has slipped. Heaven teaches us how to live in our world. If we lose our vision of heaven, we lose our vision for today.
Welcome to the mystery. You have entered the land where dreamers live, the Saints and poets like Thornton Wilder talked about in Our Town, the only ones who might know life while they lived it–every moment.
Live is the keyword; it is the reason heaven matters. Heaven is high-voltage life. Heaven is beauty enough to get drunk on. Heaven is huge. You will never arrive at its end; you will never tire of the journey, because it’s a journey into the pulsing heart of God. Fear has no home there. Heaven is not a myth. And perfection is not boring.
Lord, give me a vision of heaven that is so grand that I can’t help but be filled with anticipation. Thank You that it is reality, that is coming, that it is beauty itself. I know so little about heaven. I commit to understanding it better.