“When all my days are ending And I have no song to sing, I think that I shall not be too old To stare at everything; As I stared once at a nursery door Or a tall tree and a swing…
Men grow too old to woo, my love, Men grow too old to wed; But I shall not grow too old to see Hung crazily overhead Incredible rafters when I wake And I find that I am not dead.
A thrill of thunder in my hair: Though blackening clouds be plain, Still I am stung and startled By the first drop of the rain: Romance and pride and passion pass And these are what remain.
Strange crawling carpets of the grass, Wide windows of the sky; So in this perilous grace of God With all my sins go I: And things grow new though I grow old, Though I grow old and die.”
- G.K. Chesterton
I have often thought of reaching heaven (finally!) as being born another time. A baby in the womb is contented, comforted by the sound of his mother's heartbeat. He hears her voice as she talks to her family or sings a hymn of praise. It's muffled and in the background, I imagine, but the sound of her heartbeat is ever near and pleasant. He has room to move, to kick, to swim, to suck his thumb and stretch and wriggle.
Alas! It simply gets too tight. Too confining.
Contractions begin, and I think the baby must be disconcerted and frightened at the changes. He has no idea how this is going to turn out. He feels himself squeezed, pushed, squeezed again. He feels pressure on his head, and he does not understand why it is uncomfortable, even painful.
Unbearable for a time, then lo and behold! What is this new and wonderful world? Where moments before his entire world was his mother's womb, now he is aware of space, of light, of sound, of laughter and joy and singing and tears. All of a sudden, his world has expanded exponentially.
Earth is our womb, our constricted space. We know very little of what lies ahead. We near the end of our life here on earth, and we're squeezed, pushed, and squeezed again. The journey that lies ahead is one that we take alone, just as the baby goes down the birth canal alone.
Just imagine for a second how big, how beautiful, how wonderful our new life will be. It's unfathomable. Like a baby cannot comprehend the new life he will experience outside his mother's womb, we cannot begin to comprehend the new life we will live in eternity, in heaven.
Know this: it will be amazing.
In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ~John 14:2-3 ESV
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV