Have you ever thought long and hard about what heaven
is going to be like? Have you ever really contemplated the concept of
eternity? It can really make your head spin. With all of that time in
heaven, don't you think God is going to make it so that we're not looking
at our watches?
Talking about what heaven is going to be like, Walt Leaver once said,
"God created the world in six days and we think it's a pretty good place
to be. Just think. He's been working on heaven for 2,000 years!"
I've heard of Christians on earth being compared to babies in the womb.
We, like the unborn, have everything we need here on earth. Food, shelter,
warmth. But there's so much more waiting for us on the outside! So much
more to experience!
Jesus gives us a brief teaser about heaven in John 14.
"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have
told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me
that you also may be where I am." -- John 14:2-3
Jesus is preparing a place for you and me. Isn't that exciting?!!
I think of all the wonderful things I've experienced on Earth. I try
to imagine wrapping them all together. It's hard to imagine Jesus preparing
a place where every day would be as good as this:
I start the day early after a sound slumber. I put a couple of logs
on the fire and walk outside of my log cabin. I put on my waders and
fly-fish in a mist-covered stream as the sun rises over the Tetons.
After catching 12 of the biggest rainbow trout ever created, my sixth-grade
teacher, "Buzzy" Neil, asks me to come over to his cabin for scrambled
eggs, fried biscuits, blackberry jam and freshly squeezed orange juice.
After breakfast, it's time for baseball. We begin the first game of
a doubleheader. It's Overton vs. MBA. I'm pitching head-to-head against
R.A. Dickey. We end up winning both games in the bottom of the ninth.
I hit a three-run homer in the second game to give us the win that sends
us to the state tournament.
After the games we all head to my grandparents' house. Granny fixes
mashed potatoes and gravy, lima beans, fresh corn and roast. Cold white
milk is the beverage of choice. For dessert we ride in my Chevrolet
Z-71 extended cab truck to Jennifer Mankin's house for her famous chocolate
cake with cool whip icing.
Horseback riding in the Tetons is the activity of the afternoon. We
spot grizzly bears, mountain lions, moose, elk and my favorite animal,
the bighorn sheep.
After horseback riding, Emily and I break away for a walk on the beach.
The breeze is blowing ever so slightly. The smell of salt is in the
air. The sun slowly disappears over the bright red and orange horizon
as we walk hand-in-hand in the surf.
For dinner we head to Dreamland Bar-B-Q in Tuscaloosa. I eat two slabs
of ribs and slop the sauce off my plate with a piece of white bread.
I finish the meal off with an ice-cold coke in a glass bottle.
We make it to Bryant-Denny Stadium just in time for the kickoff of the
Alabama-Tennessee game. The Crimson Tide rolls to a 42-0 victory. After
the game we drive to my Mom and Dad's house for homemade peach ice cream.
The late-night hours find us atop Short Mountain in Woodbury, Tennessee.
The temperature has dropped into the mid-50's, just cool enough for
a long-sleeve t-shirt. All of my closest friends have assembled around
a huge bonfire for a late-night devotional.
The singing is incredible. We sing all my favorite songs: Jesus Lover
of My Soul, When Peace Like a River, He Bore it All, Heaven's Jubilee,
No Tears in Heaven, Amazing Grace and Said I Wasn't. David Carrell brings
a powerful message the way only he can. We spend a period of meaningful
prayer by ourselves, looking skyward at hundreds of shooting stars.
After the devotional, one of my friends from high school asks about
what it takes to become a Christian. After a wonderful period of Bible
study, I have the honor of baptizing him into Christ.
We all climb in our sleeping bags and find a spot near the fire. The
night is filled with laughter, stories and reminiscing. S'mores and
hot chocolate are the 3 a.m. treat. By 4:30 a.m. the only sound is that
of the fire cracking and the wind blowing through the trees.
Another day is about to begin.
As wonderful as that day sounds, doesn't it give you chill bumps to
think that heaven is going to be a million times better?
I can't wait. I'm ready to go. Are you?