I've just read a sport's reporters words about the lavish opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics. He said there were no superlatives for it. String all the words together and they still were inadequate, according to him. News reports say the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies have trumped any in Olympic history.
That's a good reminder that the most spectacular show ever awaits those who hold the hope of heaven. We'll probably even need another language to describe that one. The pyrotechnics and amazing pageantry of Beijing will be like a firefly next to a fireworks display. A twinkle compared to complete illumination.
I love a fantastic presentation. I would like to have seen the National Stadium aglow with 10,000 costumed presenters, lights and music. But the distance and the ticket price kept me out. Thankfully, God has taken care of all those details. The seats will be the best in the house, and the price was paid by His Son at great expense. The trip won't inconvenience me at all.
Keeping heaven close in my thoughts is part of my life here on earth. It's the only possible way to process the events, tragedies, and fears that line the hallway of earthly life. You keep heaven in view as you walk, knowing its there, remembering its hope, feeling its promise.
Because the Christian life is a passage that eventually leads from earthly to heavenly, I don't think it is possible to live life as a believer without overlapping the two worlds in your thoughts and plans.
The Chapman family holds this very real hope. I just listened as they talked about their recent family tragedy -- their 5-year-old adopted daughter ran in front of an SUV driven by their teenage son. Little Maria has seen heaven. Steve Curtis Chapman and his wife bared their souls about their wrenching loss, but also shared that their grief was overshadowed with great hope.
The wonder of it all is that the greatest show ever will be outdone by the presence of Jesus and the relationships that are reestablished again -- this time forever. Fantastic surroundings, family, friends -- heaven is a destination like no other. It's as close as the next breath.