Define Your Own Heaven
As most of you know, Jack and I spent some time in my hometown last weekend, enjoying a first-ever birthday party for my youngest nephew--okay, my youngest nephew so far. He ushered in his second year of life in style and is obviously on the Jack Parker Birthday Diet since he played with his personalized b-day cake but didn't let it cross his lips.
I heard him telling his cousins later that he doesn't 'do carbs'. Kids these days...
Later on, I put Jack to bed in his comfy jammers and tucked him in with his favorite fuzzy blankie at great-grandma's house. Then I joined some folks for another birthday party, this one for an elderly woman. I believe at last count she was 87 or so, but you know those near-centenarians, always fudging on the count. (Gotcha again, Lisa!)
We sat around as most adults do, swigging things out of bottles and discussing at great length the course of the universe in general. After a couple hours of that, a friend of mine made a comment that I've been pondering ever since.
"I've been doing a lot of Bible study lately," she said (which in my younger, more immature days would have made my eyes roll violently into the back of my head). "During one of our studies recently, we discussed Heaven and the fact that our spouses aren't our spouses in Heaven. Our kids aren't even our kids in Heaven."
This thought really bugged her, she confessed, and you can imagine how that went over in my mind--much like gas passed in church. (It lingered.)
MY wife won't be my wife in heaven? MY kid won't be my kid either?
That conversation was great though, because it got me thinking about things.
And I guess it kind of makes sense. We don't actually own people here on Earth. They're ours for this life and this brief life only, so we'd better make the most of our time with them. And of course, our time on Earth is a test. The way we treat our peeps will determine whether we "fly the friendly skies" in the after-life.
And Pastor Dave is done with the sermon, folks. Leave a tithing through PayPal.
Now, I'm no Bible scholar, and I refuse to look this up because I'm just too busy and/or lazy, but I have my own idea of Heaven--as I'm sure many of us do. And I'll find out it's wrong later, which is okay because at that point it won't matter, will it?
Here's a small cross-section of my personal Heaven:
For one, Heaven's grand table--situated in the center of an exact replica of the perennial garden in Stolley Park--will be a smorgasbord of delicious carb-heavy foods. I will spend my days eating brownies, Blizzards, and brownie batter Blizzards between meals consisting mostly of McDonald's Fries, buffalo wings, pizza and pretty much anything from Mac's Drive Inn.
Actually, come to think of it, I'm not fully convinced Mac's Drive Inn isn't a division of Heaven.
Another positive about the perpetual food fest is that I will always be the same size I was at 25 (29-inch waist, 163 pounds) no matter how many hours I spend shoving shrimp into my gullet at the grand table. Yes, in Heaven, I actually like shrimp. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
And I'll have great hair.
On the grand table in Heaven, the soda and ice cream will always be cold, the food warm but not too hot, and the lettuce won't ever be clumpy. Who am I kidding? There's no lettuce in Heaven. Well maybe there is, but only on tacos.
A few feet away from this grand table I speak of--where all my family members from all sides enjoy each other's company and the ongoing feast and no one forgets to save me a deviled egg or two--is a giant volleyball court where the action is always competitive and quick and I can actually block and I'm ALWAYS the best player on the court. Which isn't much different from now, I guess.
(And that, my friends, is what we call a delusion of grandeur--something completely unnecessary in the great sports arena in the clouds. Which should come as a relief to Deon Sanders I'm sure.)
As I play volleyball on this court and take brief breaks for Mountain Dew (none of this diet stuff--and yes, I just glared at the Diet Dew can on my desk) and Bugles with Easy Cheese, my elbow doesn't feel like it's being ripped in half every time I pass or hit the ball and the floor is made of a new substance not yet invented on Earth that feels like falling into a bed of leaves when you dive but incredibly solid when taking flight.
And my hair looks great the whole game through.
As I mentioned, my family is all there, but we're all young and tan and forgiving of each other's faults since we have none. In fact, we all look, feel and smell like we did at the peak of our youthful beauty and innocence, only better.
My kids will be my kids and my wife will most definitely be my wife, and we will spend our days together in a state of bliss unbeknownst to Earthly beings. And in Heaven, I won't ever forget to take the trash out to the curb on Fridays because there won't be days of the week to worry about and most definitely no trash. And there will never be a toilet seat to fight about ever again.
And every day will be as exciting as the day Amy and I exchanged vows surrounded by friends and family--but without the asinine pastor trying his hardest to ruin it by saying things like 'why buy the cow?' during our counseling sessions. 'Nother story.
And our children, our wonderful children, will have their parents' undivided attention at all times because there are no distractions or obligations--except to enjoy the company of each other. And diapers will be obsolete, praise the Lord.
Of course, in H-Land, no one ever fights about what to watch on the telly either because there isn't one to be found.
There's no country music either because there's no heartache, divorce or NASCAR, but the Dixie Chicks and Johnny Cash often put on impromptu concerts together for us as we eat. Dwight Yoakam stops by for a while to play, but my sister politely arranges another venue for him and puts his greatest hits on an i-Pod for me to listen to...on my own. I'm satisfied.
In Heaven, I will be able to forget about that horrible computer-generated Celine Dion/Elvis 'duet' from "American Idol" this year and the fact that Taylor Hicks ever even made it onto the show, let alone managed to win the whole dang thing. I will also forget about the two hours I spent watching "Catwoman" on DVD and no one will remember the story about how I tried to put motor oil into my car's engine via the dipstick. (It worked...just quite time consuming.)
My house in Heaven will be only a sizeable comfy bedroom, since most of my time will be spent sitting in the shade in an oversized lawn recliner with a cool breeze gently tousling my gorgeous hair as I read Mitch Albom and Mark Haddon novels. We won't need all the other rooms of the house, especially the bathroom since no one pees or poos.
And no one, I repeat no one, EVER says the word 'pertz'.
No one has to drive there, so there are no expensive vehicles in Heaven nor do they worry about retirement planning and bills and money and insurance because there's no one to try to impress anymore. In fact, we won't ever have to work either. Kind of like Paris Hilton, but with moral fiber.
And better hair.
Speaking of cash, Susan will find the winning Powerball ticket in her pocket but it won't matter anyway. The grandparents will have plenty of chocolate and the kids more toys than they know what to do with. They'll ignore the toys and play with boxes and sticks. That won't change.
I'll be greeted in Heaven by Grandpas Pink and Don and my niece Maya, who'll all be the same age. They'll tease me about the condition of the inside of my car and the fact that I just recently figured out the concept of the pivot irrigation system.
Heaven to me will be very much like Earth--only far more simple and with less 'stuff' to complicate things. It's kind of like the theme song to "The Facts of Life" I think. Sing it if you know it: "You take the good, you take the bad, you take 'em both and there you have...The Facts of Life."
Only in Heaven, it'll be more like: "You take the good, you take a nap. You scarf a snack and there you have...Eternal Life."
I could go on and on as I normally do, but I think I've proven my point. I hope my time in Heaven will be spent with those I love both here and there, and experiencing that love on a whole new level. Living simply, as we're told to do here on Earth.
If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
One thing's for sure: I will not be disappointed.
Tell me what your own idea is of Heaven and what I've missed in the Comments.