Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Heaven Isn't So Far Away...
It's been about 7 months since my dad passed away. Suddenly. There were no warning signs, no major health problems, nothing to prepare us for the news we heard on September 8, 2010. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my dad and miss him. I have been wanting to blog about him for so long, but there is so much to say that it has been too overwhelming to narrow it down to one post. God's hand in the last years of my dad's life was the most powerful and touching example I have ever seen of God's love and His desire to save every single one of His children. I've journaled in detail the events that God orchestrated in the last years of my dad's life and one day will blog about it.
But for now, I want to talk about the window into heaven that we've been blessed with ever since my dad's departure. For the longest time, I imagined heaven to be a big room with pews where everyone was happily singing liturgical hymns and praising God- for all of eternity. I know I'm supposed to think that this is wonderful and that I couldn't think of doing anything else for an endless amount of years...but to be honest, I was always a little uneasy about this and was afraid (although I know its impossible) that I would be...well, bored in heaven. So when my dad passed, I remember crying to my priest and telling him I was sad just to think that my dad was going to miss out on so many wonderful experiences in this life like watching his grandkids grow up, enjoying his family, going on vacation, even just enjoying his relationship with God and the abundant life that God provides. My priest politely grinned and asked, "You really think all of this is something he's going to choose over his experience in heaven." At that point, I realized I knew nothing about heaven which was why my grief at that point was so great- I felt like I had lost my dad to this mysterious abyss that I knew nothing about. And that's when my obsession with heaven began. I started reading every book I could get my hands on that would give me a glimpse of what heaven really was about. I started to delve into my Church's view on heaven, the saints, and the liturgy- which we believe actually takes us into heaven. Thankfully, after all of this "research", God enlightened me to truly get a glimpse into heaven and my life hasn't been the same since.
I now am passionate about learning more about heaven and telling others about it. In fact, as Christians, I can't believe that most of us know nothing about heaven and yet we continue in our walks, not knowing anything about our final destination. We know that this world is not our home, but wouldn't it make such a big difference if we knew what our true home has to offer us?
I believe that all of us get glimpses of heaven that draw us to a place that we've never been before, but where we are all longing to go. I call it the "God feeling". It is the feeling you get when you are staring at the ocean, not able to see the other side. It is the feeling you get, when you are by yourself at night and you look up into the sky and see the stars and realize how big our world is. It's the sweet and fleeting moments of almost perfect love and fellowship you feel with your family, your kids, and your friends. I believe that this is the Holy Spirit drawing us to our eternal home, giving us hope that our souls will one day find their rest. It is our glimpse of hope in a world that seems hopeless, yet ours is a hope which demands nothing of time or earth, but seeks all in the world to come!
At first I was going to write about all the details I learned about heaven...but I think its a journey that God wants to take each and every one of us on. He gives us the Church,the Bible and His Holy Spirit which all give us amazing glimpses into heaven. I encourage you to take this journey and I guarantee that your perspective on life will completely change...for the better!