In the spirit of the Christmas season, I decided to go a little on the religious side today. It’s an age-old question….What’s heaven going to be like? As Christians we yearn for that day we meet our Maker but wonder what we should expect heaven to be like. One of my friends from church said, “I sure hope there are plenty of golfing greens there”. Sometimes you hear little kids ask their parents if Fido will be there in heaven when they get there. Many of my Christian friends say that it does not matter what will or will not be in heaven, God will be there and that will be enough. His presence alone will satisfy our every desire. Amen!
However, in the last few years I have found myself really pondering this question. Two years ago I bought a book entitled, “50 Days of Heaven” by Randy Alcorn. Although Mr. Alcorn has never been to Heaven himself, he uses Scripture to help better explain how believers will spend their eternity. Each day is a 4-5 page devotional. After reading this book, I gained a better insight on eternity but still had the burning question; Will heaven include all the great blessings we had on earth, like camping?
I almost feel like a child wondering about these things. But how cool would it be to walk the beaches of heaven with the Lord (imagine the Footprints Prayer) and that evening sitting around a campfire with old friends, family members, and new friends in the presence of God? Maybe the whole family takes a hike through the mountains of heaven, Jesus leading the way. Fishing with my dad and grandpa (who passed away many years ago). Reliving the childhood memories of camping with my mom. Sitting around the campfire playing the banjo with my wife’s dad, who I never had the privilege to meet. Although, I guess I will have to take banjo lessons first since I don’t officially know how to play. Maybe I will let him play banjo and I will play the guitar. My grandma Mathes will bake us some of her wonderful cherry pies while grandma Panfalone makes the pizza she was known for. We will all share stories, some funny and some sad, of life on earth. I would join my brother-in-laws and their father exploring the wilderness of Heaven and taking part in their traditional adventures. In the “campground” in heaven, everyone would get along with each other. The sense of community that exists in campgrounds now on earth would only be magnified 10,000 times. In everything we would do, we would be doing so with the spirit of God. Campers would be willing to open their campsite to anyone, hospitality at its best. Sometimes we would take solo hikes into the woods and enjoy the beauty of the Creator; lush forests, breath-taking waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets. We will walk the pets we had on Earth on the trails of heaven, watching them run wild with the vigor of their youth. I am not sure how God would create a heaven warm and sunny for Vinny and at the same time cold and snowy for Mighty, but what I do know is that’s why heaven is worth waiting for. I can only imagine how beautiful it will be…
Some may think I am a little on the crazy side for thinking about this, much less posting it. Yet, every time I camp, especially in a state park where nature and wildlife are abundant, I can’t help but to wonder. Buy maybe that is what God wants. He wants us to be grateful for the blessings he has given us on Earth and wonder about how we will spend eternity. The next time you go camping, take some solo time and be with Him. Enjoy the splendor of His creation. Take a hike in the woods. Cast a line in the lake. Watch the sun rise over the ocean or the sun set over the lake. Sit on a bench in the woods and listen to the birds sing. But whatever you do, thank God for the blessing of camping and spend time with Him….