Monday, September 20, 2010

The Nameless Streets of Heaven

Not sure why but I've been thinking a lot about heaven lately. I think it all started when I was watching a U2 video. Bono was singing, "Where The Streets Have No Name." He is one of those guys who can actually make me think by simply singing a song. I love worship music but they don't make me think very often. I love the theology of the old hymns too. Some of them cause my brain to start turning but it usually shuts down before too many verses sneak by. Still, every now and then I listen to some rock-n-roller singing from the soul and it stops me dead in my tracks. When that happens it takes a while to recover. The old "Mike and the Mechanics" use to do that with "Silent Running." Incredible stuff.

But back to the topic at hand. That being ... heaven.

Do the streets have names in heaven? Perhaps you just have an inherent knowledge of your precise locations. No green street signs or exit signs needed in the celestial city. Maybe. Every body wants to know if their favorite pet will be there. I am of the belief that we are the favorite pet. Please know that I mean that with just a tinge of a smile. For we are far more than a pet to our God. We are His children. And we are His beloved Bride. I might come across my old Golden Retriever, Bear, up there. But it's going to be tough to tear my eyes away from Jesus long enough to do a thorough job of petting him when he trots up, tail wagging.

I looked at my arm today. I was driving my car with the top down coming home from a rather distant visit of a church family that lives maybe twenty-five miles from me. I put my left hand on the outside mirror and I noticed that my skin doesn't look like it did when I was half my age. And you know what my first thought was? I find this hard to believe myself and I was the one thinking it. I whispered to God, "Thank you that I'm growing older." Isn't that unusual? It is. But I meant it. I still do. The farther I travel on this space ship we call "earth" the more I'm inclined to look forward to, well, to getting Home.

Now let me make it clear. I don't have a death wish. I plan on eeking every possible day out of this body God's given me. It's been a good body. No surgeries. No major illnesses. No nights in the hospital except to be born and that doesn't really count. It's not been a "throw the football long" kind of body. It's not been a "run like the wind" kind of body. It's been more like, well, a long distance runner. Nothing too fancy but it has been getting the job done faithfully for many years. I am grateful for this.

Will I be able to ski better in heaven because I want to beat Scott and Chris down the mountain again. I use to do that when they were kids. Literally skiing circles around them. Not any more. They are jets. I'm a Cessna. Slow but reliable. Will there be time to sit and reflect in heaven? At this point in life there are a lot of things I would like explanations for. I have heard it said that once we get there we won't need the answers any more. Just being there will be enough. That may just be true. But somehow I am hoping that there will be plenty of time to sit, soak in the beauty, and breath in the answers to the questions that boggle my mind and trouble my soul. I want to talk to the one who "gets it" and be able to ask what ever I want to ask knowing that He will be patient with me and speak slowly while He spells things out. Do you think maybe it will be like that?

There are a lot of people on this globe that I want to thank and I hope I will get to do it there. There are also a fair amount that I want to slap and I'm sure there are more than a few that want to slap me. So I'm hoping that this particular part just passes away and that we have no inclination to act on any of it. I can see this degrading into a "b grade" 3 Stooges skit of the eternal variety if we aren't careful.

How about sleep? And afternoon naps? Games maybe? Real competition? How will that work if we are all perfect with splendid bodies? What will the music be like? Because I agree with Rich Mullins who agreed with Martin Luther that music is the finest thing that I have ever found. Will I be able to play an instrument? Because I cannot. And I would really like to. We shall see.

Heaven holds no fear. The crossing of the boundary between this place and heaven holds less fear each and every day. That's good because the skin is going to get worse before it gets better.

I suppose that for now I'll just sing along with Bono and wonder about the place where the streets have no name.


Anonymous said...

I believe in my heart I have been to heaven, well to the outskirts of heaven. There are some things I noticed. There was not sun light in heaven, the light is effervescent and comes from almost everywhere without a light bulb. People are not people like we know them, they are complete and at peace, confident and happy. I wanted to go into heaven but I was not able to go, I was held back. I pray that seeing heaven was a gift showing me where I was going. The feeling of being near heaven haunts me because I know how pitiful I am next to anyone from heaven. Lastly and maybe more importantly the Spirit of God filled heaven and it was good, I felt like I was lucky to feel His Holy Spirit but yet I did not or maybe could not fill myself with the Spirit. Then I woke up and cried.

Was this real or a dream? It was real to me.

PS. I don’t think there will be any slapping in heaven. Our existence in heaven has purpose and seems enjoyable but I feel we cannot understand as we are bound by our earthly thoughts of things.

HopeandWhimsy said...

Loved this post! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Although some of your analogies baffle me; I would love to be with Jesus up in Heaven now where the streets have no name. Maybe since we have an eternity there, he'll allow those interested to name the streets.
I need the peace & confidence that only Christ can give to me so I will be able to make it in this world.
Your thoughts & blogs are interesting!