The doctors in Chicago gave me codeine after corrective surgery on both my big toes. Their instructions were stern. “Stay off your feet for 3-4 days.” When the codeine hit my system however, I danced through the college dorm singing, “If Heaven Ain’t a lot like Dixie, I Don’t Wanna Go.” A young woman high on prescription meds and singing disgraceful theology didn’t go over so well at the conservative Christian college I was attending.
I have nothing but gratitude for those who understood my predicament and let me off the hook with a light reprimand. I still laugh over the heaven like Dixie bit. Now when I think of heaven, country music doesn’t even cross my mind. In fact, many ideas I learned about heaven now hit my radar like enemy war planes. So many traditional ideas make me wonder why heaven should even be considered. I’ve heard:
all our questions will be answered as soon as we cross the Jordan River.
we’ll eat all the chocolate we want without gaining an ounce of weight.
we’ll recline on airy clouds and sing for ever and ever and ever.
heaven will be one long church service.
No wonder my daughter proclaimed recently that she wasn’t sure she wanted to go to heaven. Shocked by her response, I began to think. Then we talked about what I believe it will really be like…
There will be endless opportunities to talk with people without feeling as if you are bothering them, or feeling like there are so many other things you should be doing. We’ll drink Café Mocha on some distant planet, in an as yet unknown galaxy, and continue the conversation until it finishes—years later.
Sports fans, let’s dream of playing volleyball or soccer with bodies not cursed and aging but strong and God-glorifying. Our cloud of witnesses will join in the fun, and Jesus as goal-keeper is a thought worth considering.
Hiking the earth without knee problems and fear of heights, places high on my list of heavenly activities. And then when the earth is completely explored, we can traipse off to hike the universe with new friends.
My most treasured heaven thought is being able to spend millions of years learning with the veil of sin lifted from my mind, to think complete, clear thoughts without their flying out the window. I want to read and learn how the mind works, how it interacts with emotions and honors God in the beauty of the way it expresses itself in creativity.
In all these things and countless more, I believe we will bring glory to the God Who created us to live life to the fullest. We’ll bow at His feet in quiet praise and present ourselves to Him in radical worship, but He also created us with the capacity to move and think and love.
Snowboarding on Mars? Why not?
Listening to another beautiful story of redemption? Absolutely!
Reading Scripture with the Apostle Paul? Whoa!
And Jesus…Who is above all, in all and through all!
So I ask the question, “In what ways do you want to glorify God for eternity?”