Monday, September 18, 2006

Heaven is a Place on Earth

This last weekend was one of my most fun weekends this year, and that’s saying a lot because I think pretty much every weekend is a lot of fun. Friday night started off with appletinis at my friend Ozzy’s (the name he chose to be referred to for blog purposes, whatever) in Atlanta; he makes the best martinis, probably because he puts some green sugar that I love on the rim. We went to dinner at Taurus in Midtown, and it was excellent plus I just love trying new restaurants. We saw a band after that, and there were a lot of people there I knew, which was fun.

Saturday I slept until I woke up and then walked to Spa Sydell for a massage. The Chinese masseuse was funny and spoke pretty good English, but in response to his queries, I found myself dropping words, incorrectly conjugating verbs, and just generally mimicking his speech pattern. “Don’t know why left side hurt more.”

Ozzy and I had brunch at Treehouse, which was also new to me, and very good. I love brunch, and unfortunately there is nowhere to get brunch in Macon. In fact, you can’t even get a good bagel and homemade cream cheese in Macon, but I digress. After brunch, we shopped and took naps before heading to a Braves game where we sat on the second row at first base. After the game we went back to his place and walked to Mellow Mushroom, which I love—and I LOVE walking to places. From my apartment, I can’t walk anywhere worth going.

On Sunday I took full advantage of my favorite church’s later service time, sleeping in, reading, working out, and joining Ozzy at Starbucks all before church. The sermon was about heaven to which I’ve really not given that much conscious thought. I’ve thought about how you get there and have generally imagined it, and upon reflection, I realize my imagined heaven is not very appealing. It’s boring. There’s no excitement or fun stuff going on—just visiting with people who’ve died (all wearing white) on clouds and whatnot. I’ve thought that it will be more peaceful, but in the same kind of way visiting your grandparents in the country is more peaceful than a weekend in the city—nice on occasion but definitely not better than the alternative. Think about some of the best times of your life; do you really think Heaven is going to be better than that? The pastor predicted my view of heaven as being a common myth, noting that our somewhat dismal view of heaven is part of the reason we filled so compelled to get so much done in this lifetime. He cited scripture, and I think the following was one of the verses. “Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth—so wonderful that no one will even think about the old one anymore.” Isaiah 65:17.

So think about it. Imagine Earth without sin and problems—for example, would my Saturday night have been like it was except there would have been no traffic, no ugly look from the guys in the Mercedes next to us as we sang loudly to Gwen Stefani, no excess grease on the pizza, and no check to pay? The pastor thought it would be like those moments when you’re looking at the sun set or rise when the world seems so perfect and calm. Regardless of what Heaven is like, I’m (logically) sure it is much better than life here on Earth—now if I could just start really internalizing that and believing it in my heart, realizing how much I have to look forward to….


kimberly said...

I like to try to make up awesome things about heaven. All you can eat chicken parm. (Do you think we will eat meat in Heaven? If not, tofu will taste amazing). Puppies and kittens everywhere. We can all be musical/literary/creative geniuses if we want or forget how to do things if we want (there is also a pleasure in not knowing - I've always wished I could forget how to read). You can blink and instantly be on the most amazing beach in the middle of summer, and blink again and be taking in a breathtaking view from a mountain in winter. You get to see people loving each other without any other agenda other than love. You can pet lions and polar bears without being scared. I could go on and on ... I might have to save this for another blog someday. "How I would make heaven Awesome, by Kimberly." Of course the best part is that my version is never going to get close to the awesomeness of the real thing. Speaking of the real thing - COKE must be in heaven, only without calories or destructive properties like giving you cavities and osteoporosis.

kimberly said...

hmm...does my heaven sound slightly like disney world?

jordan said...

I am insanely in love with sunsets/sunrises.. especially center seat, front row vacationing in the Yucatan peninsula.. love it. Sunrise and sunset connect me to so many things.. and many times I think, I bet this is just like heaven.. 24 hours of sunset/sunrise anywhere you look.

Ally said...

I definitely think we can eat meat in heaven and anything else we want, but I also wonder if we won't feel hungry. I hope not because I love eating.

I love this blinking idea Kimberly. Under that theory, I'll be able to blink and see the sunset from the Yucatan Peninsula (which I've never had the pleasure of seeing Jordan) but go skiing in the next blink.

kathrynthomas said...

john elderidge. journey of desire. if you're up for a new book, check it out. it talks about heaven.

Ally said...

Thank you for the suggestion Kathryn. I've never read any of John Elderidge's books, but I've heard great things about him.