Jack always wonders at what we say about ‘going to heaven’ for ourselves or others. He has been told by people that he was with during their last days or hours, that if possible and permitted, that they might meet him when he ‘crosses the bar’. (old Navy term) Seems reasonable. As though we can figure out what eternity is like and can make requests to arrange things. First class comes with perks after all. We all know who is in that club along with our dear friends. We really think we know who is on the list, like santa claus with his naughty or nice.
Eternity is not just a long, long time. “If you cried one tear every year in paradise, you could eventually have enough water to cover the earth.”1. In no time at all’ How about walking to the crab nebula at a really fast pace? Just to take a look and wander about. Billions of years which of course, is a time measurement and is meaningless.
Gator once asked his Lord when flying over the east coast, how can you count all the hair on everyone’s head? I can see for several hundred miles in each direction. A lot of lights, millions of people. The answer was swift and humbling. “Easy Gator, it’s a finite number” Oh yes, forgot about that little detail.
So if we are going to live forever if we have been saved from the Father’s wrath, what are we going to be doing eternally? Sort of the same thing we spent our lives doing so far? Gator gets interested when he thinks about worshiping with music. There are times when worshiping that are transcendent and stunning. Music then seems a reasonable eternal life style. Gators back aches at times when he stands and plays. Ensemble worship teams that really only last a short ‘time’ are tolerable. With a new body and an incredible vision before him, Gator figures it might be the best gig ever. After all, the hours are good (forever), the pay is decent (deliverance from eternal suffering and hell), and the flaming sea of glass with the elders sounds like a happening place.
Eternally gazing upon the face of God and His Son would be the picture in a dictionary describing ‘Ecstasy’
What about writers, cab drivers, laborers and medical people? What are they looking forward to with this Eternity promise? Gator, of course, doesn’t even have a clue. He has visions as above. Exploring creation. Macro and micro. Living forever? Are there restaurants in Heaven? Perhaps asparagus with butter and salt on the menu along with German Chocolate cake. Are there bathrooms in heaven? Saunas and shampoo with eternal odor?
All these pleasures of our life now seem fall back images for eternity. Gator has nothing to compare his life with the thought of eternity. C.S. Lewis has written a few stories that describe hell and escape. The endings leave you hanging a bit, of course. Riding a powerful white stallion into the mountains of eternal beauty sounds good. I assume saddle sores are not included and the tack never gets worn. Is there such a thing as boredom there? That might be a clue. Gator gets bored easily. What if eternal fascination is completely encompassing. Forever.
The watchmaker might be assigned orbital mechanics and timing for the world he just left. Asking his Lord, Why me? “I thought you might enjoy it” the answer. So, Joined with Copernicus and Kepler and others keeping the whole show on track. Making certain that the interiors of the suns are at the correct stage of nuclear fusion. No office cooler needed. Being a useful servant feels really good. Jesus knows all these things. He loves us.
It’s impossible to know Holiness from our position. It’s a Nice thing to contemplate however. We sing about the Holy one and give Him praise as we can. It feels right, it feels eternal. It’s pretty good. Jack Gator
1. Gregory Koukl