WHATS IN THIS BLOG:
• Heaven in country songs.
• Heaven in hiking.
• How to imagine heaven by Max Lucado.
HEAVEN IN COUNTRY SONGS
I enjoy country & western music – to listen to or to dance to. Here are some words from a song by Tanya Tucker:
When I die I may not go to heaven
I don’t know if they let cowboys in
If they don’t just let me go to Texas, Boy!
Texas is as close as I’ve been.
Another country song about heaven is by Hank Williams, Junior.
If heaven ain’t a lot like Dixie
I don’t wanna go
If heaven ain’t a lot like Dixie
I’d just as soon stay home
If they don’t have a Grand Ole Opry
Like they do in Tennessee
Just send me to hell or New York City
It would be about the same to me
HEAVEN IN HIKING
These songs are cute and humorous. But at another level, I can feel heaven in hikes that I take – the beauty or tranquility or spectacular scenery is to me part of God’s creation. Interspersed below are several pics from the area around Moab, Utah that I visited with friends earlier this week. The pics were taken in Arches National Park and in Dead Horse Point State Park.
HOW TO IMAGINE HEAVEN
At an even higher level, I have adapted the following words by a contemporary writer. His words are semi-poetic and the concepts are fresh, maybe even a bit controversial:
“God has planted eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes chapter 3).
People long for more than earth. When we see pain, we yearn. When we see hunger, we question why. Senseless deaths. Endless tears. Needless loss. Isn’t there more to life than death?
Unhappiness on earth cultivates a hunger for heaven.
By gracing us with a deep dissatisfaction, God holds our attention.
The only tragedy is to be satisfied prematurely. To be content in a strange land.
We are not happy here because we are not at home here. We are not supposed to be happy here.
We will never be completely happy on earth because we were not made for earth.
We will have moments of joy. We will catch glimpses of light. We will know moments or even days of peace. But they do not compare with the happiness that lies ahead.
Rest on this earth is a false rest. Beware of those who urge you to find happiness here – you won’t find it. And it won’t be all right until we get home.
Again, we have our moments. The newborn babe, the new bride, the sunshine on our back. But these are slivers of light breaking through heaven’s window.
“No one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him” (St Paul in 1 Corinthians chapter 2). Heaven is beyond our imagination. We cannot envision it. We cannot fathom eternity.
Try this. Imagine a perfect world – whatever it means to you.
Does this mean peace? Envision absolute tranquility.
Does this mean joy? Envision your highest happiness.
Does this mean love? Envision a place where love has no bounds.
Anything you imagine is inadequate. When it comes to describing heaven, its beyond us.
Lower your expectations of earth. This is not heaven.
There will never be a new job, a new car, a new home, or new clothes that can give you the joy your heart craves.
Only God can.
And God will. Be listening. Be open. Be patient.
The above is adapted from a book called When God Whispers your Name, by Max Lucado.
PS: I write blogs about three topics: Science and Energy, Health and Hiking, and Inspiration and Hope.
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The Gray Nomad ….. Read and imagine.
You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.
[St Augustine of Hippo].
St. Augustine, born in Roman N. Africa to a devout Catholic mother and a pagan father, was a notoriously rebellious Catholic teenager who cohabitated with a girlfriend, joined an exotic Eastern cult, and ran away from his mother.
Augustine became a brilliant and renowned teacher of public speaking and was appointed by the emperor to teach in Milan, Italy, at that time the administrative capital of the Western Roman Empire. While there, he happened to hear the preaching of the bishop of Milan, Ambrose, who baptized him in 386.
St. Augustine ultimately renounced his secular career, put away his mistress, and became first a monk, then a priest, then the bishop of Hippo, a small town on the N. African Coast.