Monday, January 09, 2012

That's What Heaven's Going To Be Like

I remember waking up at Glorieta Baptist Conference Center in New Mexico on dozens of June mornings. I was there leading teenagers at "Centrifuge" camps. Every morning in June, tucked into those stunning forested mountains, was incredible. Up at 7. A chilly breeze rushed down from the 12,000 foot peaks and into our camp at a mere 7,500 feet. I would meet my kids to walk to breakfast wearing shorts and a sweatshirt. The sky was cobalt blue and the air smelled pure. I couldn't wait for breakfast so that I could sit with my friends and map out the glorious day ahead of us.

That's what heavens going to be like.

I sat all alone on the top of a 300 foot sand dune. The view to the west was a pristine Lake Michigan. Those little dots were teenagers that God had placed in my care. They were swimming and throwing frisbees and playing "Chicken." I would burrow my feet into the sand and feel each grain caress my skin with the warmth of summer. A young man or woman in shorts and a t-shirt would run past me on my right and leap into the sky as the hang glider strapped to his back carried him heavenward to drift on the rising warm air ascending from the sand. Then I would watch as he swooped low over the lake, carried by the cooler air from the water. Up and down. Up and down. Watching my kids. Watching the glider. Feeling the warm sand. Sun in my face.

That's what heavens going to be like.

The full moon was rose over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Jekyll Island, Georgia. I sat on the wooden steps that had carried me over the grass covered sand dune. A hotel of sleeping teens was to my back. I alone saw the waves crash in as I reveled in my impromptu 2:00AM quiet time. The air smelled of water and salt. The heavens were ablaze with a billion stars backed by the blackest of nighttime skies. I thanked God for the moment and drank in His beauty.

That's what heavens going to be like.

My grandson sat on the hardwood floor of my living room. He played with toys that screeched loud sounds as buttons were pushed or levers were pulled. The delight in his eyes lit my aging heart. He reached for the stuffed animal, squeezing the paw to make it talk. He chattered back at it in syllables only he could understand. He stopped and looked up into my eyes. His grandfather. He stared. I smiled. The corners of his mouth bent upward and his eyes took on a new glow. I held his gaze as long as his one year old attention span would allow until he went back to the next toy. My heart was full.

That's what heavens going to be like.

I stuffed my feet into the awkward boots and then clicked the toe and heel of the boots into the special made bindings. Strapped to high-tech boards of waxed polymer I stared at the drop off before me. The snow was a hard pack, recently groomed into the shape of perfect corduroy. My heart beat faster as I mentally planned my way down the fall line. A deep breath. The wind in my face. My breath working to fog the goggles covering my eyes. A scarf tucked snugly around my neck and mouth. Sock hat pulled over my ears to the top of my goggles. The weather station in the cafeteria a mile below me told me that I was standing in 17 degree air with a steady 20mph crosswind coming off the continental divide to my left. I sucked air one more time and pushed off ... committing to my very first run down a ski slope in the Rocky Mountains. It was an intermediate "blue." I didn't know a soul within 600 miles. The adrenaline kicked into over drive as I made a solid run ... upright and non-stop ... to the bottom of the mountain. I slid sideways to a stop and looked back up from whence I had come. One thought possessed my mind. "Again!"

That's what heavens going to be like.

Except better. Many, many, times better...

nearly heaven


The Dashboard Poet said...

Tell me once more, please. I forgot. Why are you not writing a book? This kind of tantalizing encouragement needs much more exposure. Just a thought.

Ron said...

Because I have no intention on going broke by self-publishing.

Snowbrush said...

Well, I hope you're right.