Sunday, April 25, 2010

Are we almost there yet?

Driving to school this evening to pick up my youngest from his field trip, I enjoyed the twilight sky with the moon shining and the stars just starting to peek out of their velvet backdrop. From somewhere, thoughts of the ancients popped into my head. The ones that were in Christ--did they ever speculate as to what heaven would be like?

Seems that each generation has its own ideas of how heaven will be. When I was young, I envisioned mansions, aka castles that princesses lived in, and a pasture full of horses. These, of course, came from the scriptures that heaven would be full of mansions, plus all the revelation stuff that has Jesus coming in on horses. I imagined shiny golden streets, and each of us would have our own mansion, decorated with whatever 'stuff' fit our personalities.

How did a Saxon child envision heaven? Did they envision mansions aka fortresses in heaven? Were their golden streets made with fresh, clean straw? Watching an old version of Robin Hood before I left home, references were made to "His Grace" or whatever the religious politicians were called. How did they teach heaven? What did their children believe? What about the starving children in Africa? Do they envision heaven similar to my childhood thoughts?

I wondered, as I drank in the sweet perfumes of the night air, how on earth would we ever truly know this side of heaven, what our eternal home would be like. Driving at a snail's pace, windows down, I could hear the chirping of crickets, the scent of honeysuckle tickled my nostrils. All the wonderful things created down here by our Heavenly Father, made me wonder if we were getting a glimpse of heaven's character.

In reality, heaven is wherever God is. That verse, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" has an eternal ring to it. God will never leave us. Not up to the point of our death, but never. As in eternity. I don't know about you, but that reassurance just jumped out at me. No matter where I'm at, in life or death, God will never leave me. Looking back through some of the messes I've been in, (most of my own doing) I can see where God was true to His word--He never left me. Not even for a moment.

I get excited at times, wondering if we're almost there yet. In the words of Ron Hutchins, I try to remind self to simply sit back and enjoy the ride, instead of fretting about when we're going to get there. Way back in Bible days, I'm sure the disciples fretted as well. After all, they thought Jesus would return within a matter of months. Here it is, a little over 2,000 years later, and He still hasn't come. He's got to come sometime, doesn't He? He's almost here. It's almost time. Whether we meet Him in the grave, or in the air... He's not going to leave us. What a wonderful assurance!

Getting closer to the school, another excitement bubbles up within. My child will soon be home! He's only been gone over night, but those overnight field trips seem to last forever. When he hops in the car, excitement still ringing from his voice full of fun and adventure, he starts talking the colleges he would like to attend, and the hopes of getting scholarships. I found myself gripping the steering wheel a little bit tighter as I witnessed the exuberance radiating from his young face. Naturally, all of the colleges he named were out of state, or at the very least, the other side of the state. Say what you will, but I really don't relish my boys being too far away from home. Another lesson I'm learning, is just like God promised to never leave nor forsake me, He's made that same promise to my boys as well. It is so hard to let go. But I don't worry. I know God will grow me through that. As we all go through this life, He grows us into who we need to be. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the journey.

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