Good morning, I pray the day is finding you well.
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately.
Actually, I have been doing a lot of thinking about God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and Heaven.
This is something that I have been thinking about.
In the beginning was God.
God, as Christians we believe in the trinity. This being said, if we believe in the trinity, we believe that God, Christ and the Holy Spirit are one. Therefore, if we believe that, "In the beginning was God," we believe that, in the beginning was God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I know that this is hard thing to wrap one's head around, the more you contemplate it, the deeper it gets and quite frankly we see through the glass darkly and will never get the complete picture of this until we are there with them. Being there with them would suggest, well actually, it doesn't just suggest, it means that we would be in Heaven with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Being in Heaven with God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit also is a lot to wrap one's head around. We have heard many preachers and pastors tell us that heaven will be like a big banquet, with never ending food and never ending praise songs. I would hope that Heaven is more than just eating and singing. As much as I like to eat, and I must confess I like to eat, thus the reason for my current weight loss endeavor. Eating for eternity would get old. I hope that we are not just eating for eternity. The more I think about eating for eternity the more I begin to wonder about it. First of all if all I do in Heaven is eat; isn't that gluttony? Isn't gluttony a sin? I am pretty sure gluttony is a sin. Sin does not reside in Heaven. Secondly, there a multiple schools of thought about who will be in Heaven. One school is that there will only be the souls of people from earth in Heaven. Another school of thought has animals up in Heaven too (How many pastors have heard, "Will my cat Buffy be in Heaven? It sure wouldn't be Heaven if my cat Buffy isn't there.") Other schools of thought have souls from other worlds in Heaven too. Heaven could be quite the place when you start wondering who could be there.
Let's stick with the second school of thought for now.
If all we do is eat, where does the food come from?
If animals are in Heaven, and since we are in Heaven there is no reason to think that we could not communicate with animals, and all we do is eat, I can see a conversation like this going on.
Roger, "Hello Cathy." I am talking to Cathy the cow.
Cathy, "Hello Roger." Cathy the cow is talking to me.
I say, "What are you doing today?"
Cathy says, "Eating."
I say, "Me too."
Cathy says, "What are you eating today?"
I say, "I am so glad you asked, because today I am in charge of the barbecue."
I just do not think that Cathy the Cow would think that is Heaven if she is a vital part of the banquet.
I was in my aqua aerobics class this morning. As I mentioned earlier I am in the middle of a weight loss endeavor. This morning I was doing my water walking, water walking is where you walk in water, duh, with weights. I was obviously lost in thought, at least when I am lost I have an excuse. Being lost in thought is much better than just being lost, at least I think so. Anyway, I was lost in thought and another "water walker," no it wasn't Jesus, this person was in the water not on the water. asks, "What are you thinking about?" I say, "Heaven." and I go into the whole banquet thing. After I say that I did not think Cathy the Cow would think being eaten was part of Heaven my friend says, "Manna, we will eat Manna for eternity." I thought, "that is just ludicrous." First of all, the Hebrews only had to eat Manna for forty years and they were darned tired of it after only forty years. Eating Manna for an eternity would be just awful. Besides Manna means, "What is it?" Can you imagine eating "What is it?" for eternity?
Can you imagine a conversation around Manna?
Phil, a friend of mine in Heaven, we will have nothing but friends in Heaven so this is really a ridiculous statement. Anyway, Phil comes up and says, "What are you having for dinner?
I say, "This."
Phil says, "What is it?"
I say, "Yep."
Phil says, pointing to the Manna, "What is it?"
I say, "Exactly."
Phil, his face is starting to get red and his voice is rising says, "Are you being a smart-butt? What are you eating for dinner?"
I say, "What is it."
Phil, face in contortions says, "What is what, dinner? are you asking what dinner is?"
I say, "No, I know what dinner is."
Phil, visibly upset, just gives me a big huff turns and leaves saying, "I will never talk to you again."
I say, "Are we still friends?"
Phil shouts over his shoulder, "NO."
Now everyone in Heaven is no longer friends; all because of Manna.
This is why we are not eating Manna for eternity.
The whole Banquet theory falls apart pretty quick when you think about it.
I also must confess, I do like to sing. Simply because I like to sing does not mean that I am any good at it. Nor, does it mean that others like to listen to me sing. I, for one, have heard more than my share of bad singing; usually in the form of special music when someone comes forward in church, a sound track is turned on and all of a sudden it is karaoke morning in church. I hope that Heaven is more than singing. Not just for my sake, but for the sake of those standing in earshot of my voice.
When I talk to people about singing in Heaven and tell them that I can't sing they say, "When you get to Heaven God will give you a wonderful voice." When they say this I cannot help but think, "It will be like those Allstate commercials were the little girl is talking to her dad and then all of a sudden her voice changes into this beautiful baritone voice and she says "Allstate, you have the Allstate protection plan." Her father just looks at her in wonderment. I am sure that he is thinking, "Who is this in my daughter and why does my daughter sound like a forty year old man?"
I really do not know if I will be given a new beautiful voice or not; I really do not think that having a new voice or not is really the point of Heaven in the first place.
As a chaplain, I get to listen to lots of people talk about lots of things. I was sitting with a member the other day that had just gotten out of the hospital. He had tried to commit suicide and had been hospitalized. He had just been released, and came to me for help. He needed someone who could help him work through his stuff. He needs a psychologist or psychiatrist. Of course he has no insurance and little money, thus his dilemma. It took me a couple of hours but I was able to find him the help he needed. He still likes to sit with me and talk.
After he leaves, I have another conversation.
I have a conversation with God.
The role is reversed. I do most of the talking and He does the listening.
One of the things that I tell the member that comes to me is that life is worth living even though you do not know all the ins and outs, all the if, ands, or buts of the future.
As I was talking with God, He said that Heaven is much the same way. Heaven is bigger and better than I can ever imagine; even though I do not know all the ins and outs, and the if ands or buts of Heaven.
Life is worth living.
Heaven is worth looking forward to.
Have a wonderful day.