Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In a Time of No More Post Vacation Blues

Well, I am back from vacation.  I had an amazing time away and now it is time to head back to real life again.  Vacations are wonderful.  I love planning for them, I love executing that plan, I love seeing new things or just getting away for a while, but I do not love the end of a vacation.  I used to go on trips every four months and always began planning the next trip when I got back from the previous one.  It helped the post-vacation blues, which is something to which I am very prone.  This time is no different.  In fact it may be worse I as no longer find comfort in my routine, something that used to be an odd comfort upon my return.  I think much of life is like that for many people.  We plan, we do, and then nothing.  This is a cycle we all tend to repeat.  I am not writing today, though, to bemoan the end of my vacation, but to look forward when there is no such thing.  I think one aspect of heaven I like to look at is the fact that it is very much like a family trip to the Outer Banks. 
Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if [it were] not [so], I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, [there] you may be also.  John 14:1-3 NKJV
Please do not think that I am comparing heaven to the Outer Banks.  They are nice, but they are not even close to heaven.  What we call paradise on earth is but a mere shadow the the perfect paradise that we have to look forward to.  We may all share a mansion on vacation, but in heaven we each have our own.  And let me tell you that if God builds a mansion (which He is for each one of us), it will make even the most luxurious mansion made by human hands on earth look like an old dilapidated single-wide trailer home. 

Then again, who even cares about our mansions in heaven.  I would call it just a place to sleep, but I have doubts our new spiritual bodies will require sleep the way our physical bodies do.  Maybe it is just a place to host friends and family, but with the weather always perfect and the light of God Himself being our "sun," why would we even spend time indoors?  The mansion is nice, the streets of gold are pretty cool, but that is not the most amazing part of our eternal home, at least not for me. 

What really amazes me is the complete absence of time.  In eternity, time does not matter at all.  In fact, time (in the way we know it) will not even exist.  The whole concept of time is part of creation.  The physical universe is bound to time.  Time is part of the physical universe.  Heaven is not part of the physical universe we dwell in today.  It is outside all that we know and exists in a place our mortal minds can not even imagine.  Some may wonder how heaven can be exciting and if we will ever be bored.  I do not think that boredom is possible in the presence of God.  We may dwell with God in eternity, but we will never be God.  God will always remain so far above all that we can imagine that even in eternity we will never stop getting lost in the awe and wonder that is Him.  I think that each "day" will only be better than the last and never will it end.  Each day we will have new wonders.  Each day we will have new joys.  Even better, everyone will love us and we will love every one.  There will be no jealousy, no family squabbles, no drunkenness, no debauchery, no crime, no violence, and no sickness and suffering.  We will have a lifetime of stories to share and hear with each person we meet. 

This world can be hard.  Some of us are blessed enough to be able to get away from the grind for brief moments only to get back into the grind again.  Some others are blessed to be able to retire to a more relaxing life, but that is usually at the end of life.  All of us in Christ have an eternal vacation to look forward to and that should always be enough to get us through.  No matter how hard it gets, no matter how long our time may seem, we know that one day we will be sitting on a bench on a street paved with gold wondering if it could ever get any better than it is right then.  What's more, is that as we discover new wonders and joys each and every day we come to realize that the only limit to how good heaven can get is how good God can make it.  Of course, we all know, with God there is no limit.  It may not be today, this year, this decade, or even for decades to come, but one day we will hear these glorious words from our Lord.
And Jesus said to him, "Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise."   Luke 23:43 NKJV

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