I was driving home from picking my two youngest daughters up from Kenpo this week, and we had a hilarious exchange that got me thinking:
My 6-year-old: When I get to heaven, the first thing I want to do is go swimming.
Me (trying not to laugh): Really? Why swimming?
Her: Because swimming is awesome and it will be awesome in heaven!
My 10-year-old: Well, when I get to heaven the first thing I want to do is hug Jesus!
My 6-year-old: Okay, hug Jesus first, then swimming!
First of all, it was hilarious. Kids can be so funny! Secondly, though, it amazes me what kids think about God. Specifically, her thoughts about heaven and what eternity will be like amaze me. And you know, she could be quite right that there will be swimming in heaven; if there is, I bet it will be awesome. (yes, I know Revelation 21:1 says there is no sea…it does not say that there are no swimming pools!)
Revelation 21 says that there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and that the new Jerusalem will be amazing. In Genesis 1:31 God says that the creation was “very good,” so I am betting that the new one will be even better! But notice that there is not only new heavens, but a new earth. It seems that in eternity there will be an earth, and it will be populated. In Luke 19:17 the returning master gives his faithful servant authority over cities (plural), meaning there will be government and apparently an economy. There will be jobs! (not sea-based jobs, apparently)
This reflects the perfection of the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve had vocation and responsibility. It seems this is how eternity will be as well. That encourages me, even though when we’re all perfect and holy and filled with God’s grace without sin, I will have to find a new vocation! It doesn’t seem that heaven is sitting on clouds and singing in an angel choir for many. If not, and if we will have vocation there, then my job today can be a reflection of the kingdom of God if I will commit it to Christ and work at it like it is His plan for me. And that, I will do, as well as I can.
How about you? When you close your eyes, what does heaven look like? What are you most looking forward to doing when you’re in the perfect eternal state of joy?