My life now is the seed for the flower, the blueprint for the cathedral I may someday become…
What do you think heaven will be like?
Is this a question you have asked, or been asked? Have you given thought to Heaven? Is the question worthy of your thought? Is your thought worthy of the question? Does it really matter now?
My biggest fear since childhood is that Heaven will be like church can be – kind of an eternal purgatory!
As an adult my reaction typically has been something like, “Heaven is beyond me now. Only God knows.” But that’s not quite true. Because I do have a hope for “heaven”.
“We can hope only for that which we desire.” ~C.S. Lewis, in “Transposition”
Our hopes come from our desires (and I certainly desire Heaven over the alternative), but I can only desire what is familiar to me. Heaven is not familiar to me, so I am left to describe Heaven in terms that are familiar to me. Simple logic, then, proves that I cannot describe Heaven. Yet Heaven remains as an inconceivable desire and the source of my hope for a “destiny of glory.”
“No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began… No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:7, 9 (NIV)
So why concern myself with a question of what Heaven will be like? At face value, I should just want to avoid Hell and seek Heaven – treat them as simple incentives of eternal agony or peace and bliss. Of course, rewards and fear of punishment are short-term motivators at best, so while we talk of Heaven and Hell in these terms it obviously has little affect on us now – just look at the world around you! Just look at your own sinful life.
Of course, scripture provides many descriptions of Heaven that I can trust:
- Heaven is God’s dwelling place.
- We will see God, and it will be a place of great joy and satisfaction in His presence.
- Only the righteous will be in heaven. The wicked will not be allowed to enter.
- There will be continual praise and worship.
- It will be beautiful.
- It will be eternal.
- People of all races and tongues and every nation will be represented in heaven.
- We will have lots of company.
- And no sickness or pain, sorrow, violence, war, hunger, thirst or death.
But the nature of that dwelling, of “great joy and satisfaction”, of beauty…are left to my own human conjecture and limited descriptors. Heaven, as I know it now and cannot experience, is left to my own design.
“How far the life of the risen man will be sensory, we do not know. But I surmise that it will differ from the sensory life we know here, not as emptiness differs from water or water from wine but as a flower differs from a bulb or a cathedral from an architect’s drawing. And it is here that Transposition helps me.” ~C.S. Lewis, “Transposition”
So I must concern myself with the question of Heaven; it is my reason for how I live and relate to others today, in this life. My life now is the seed for the flower, the blueprint for the cathedral I may someday become, for all I know. My notions of heaven inspire me to live On Purpose:
- to restore a noble spirit and values in the workplace
- to inform my relationships and to bring grace to my words and deeds each day
- to help people with dreams become leaders with vision
My notions of Heaven and my place in relation to Heaven inspire this blog, so I invite you once again to “join me here in the search to be remarkable – that you might have a valuable influence in the lives of others. Re-connect your thoughts and actions with your deepest values and purpose, and engender the same in others. Have the courage to take action now on the things most important to you. Achieve what may seem just beyond your reach…”
Whether a human concept, an eternal destination, or a secret wisdom of God, Heaven may be just beyond my reach, but it remains the future I most hope for and desire. Let Heaven be your desired Destiny of Glory, too…somewhere beyond The Intersection of Purpose & Now.