Eyes on the Goal

June 4, 2021

Imagining heaven is not easy for us. I suspect trying to describe it to us is like
describing New York City to an aborigine. You might say a skyscraper is like a giant hut
one hundred huts high, but the reality of a skyscraper is still greater than the
description. Joseph Bayly captures some of this dilemma in his book, The Last Things
We Talk About. He shares a parable:

I cannot prove the existence of heaven.
I accept its reality by faith, on the authority of Jesus Christ: “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

For that matter, if I were a twin in the womb, I doubt that I could prove the
existence of earth to my mate. He would probably object that the idea of an earth
beyond the womb was ridiculous, that the womb was the only earth we’d ever
know.

If I tried to explain that earthlings live in a greatly expanded environment and
breathe air, he would only be skeptical. After all, a fetus lives in water; who
could imagine its being able to live in a universe of air? To him such a transition
would seem impossible.

It would take birth to prove the earth’s existence to a fetus. A little pain, a dark
tunnel, a gasp of air–and then the world outside! Green grass, laps, lakes, the
ocean, horses (could a fetus imagine a horse?), rainbows, walking, running,
surfing, ice-skating. With enough room that you don’t have to shove, and a
universe beyond.

Despite our difficulties in imagining it, heaven is real. In some ways, more real than the world
in which we live because it will be eternal, while this world is temporary. Paul reminds
us of this: “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is
seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:18). Let us keep our
eyes on the goal.

–Russ Holden