I do a lot of thinking, in the swimming pool. I float around on my comfy inflated lounger and gaze at the leaves on the trees. It's a good time to ask myself questions. So, yesterday I asked myself this question:
Why do I have so much trouble enjoying the present, when I'm worried about the future?
And I dug around in the old brain and decided that I'm not really worried about the future. I feel pretty sure God will take care of us, one way or the other. There are plenty of people who love us enough that I don't think we'll end up homeless.
Okay. So I'm not worried about the future. Then: Why do I have so much trouble enjoying the present?
And the honest answer I had to give myself was this: I want the present to be permanent, and it makes me unhappy that it isn't, so then I can't enjoy it.
Well, I was glad to have gotten that much honesty out of myself, so I continued the interrogation. "Why," I asked self, "Why do you want this life to be permanent?"
And I replied that this was a normal, healthy, and even spiritual desire. It is a desire for the New Earth (or heaven, if you like), and it's a sign of spiritual maturity and correct eternal perspective to desire the New Earth.
Well, yes. But we can't make a heaven here on earth, much as the songs may tell us so. I do feel it is a noble thing to wish for the New Earth. But it's foolish of me to be DISSATISFIED since I can't have it now. Why should I expect it here? I shouldn't.
Today, in the pool, I tried to bring myself to some resolution. I gazed around at my lovely yard, my husband's hard-built brick oven, our cozy home. If I'm not supposed to wish it to continue -- if I'm not supposed to wish it to last forever -- exactly how am I supposed to view this lovely landscape?? I asked this of myself.
Well, if Heaven is my home (and it is), what is this beautiful place where I am now? How can I enjoy it, and love it, and yet have no expectations of its permanence? What comparable experience from everyday human life can I liken it to, to help me understand how I'm supposed to feel?
So, I decided this life is like staying in a hotel -- a nice hotel, the kind where you leap onto the beds, and investigate the bathrooms for special spa features, and enjoy the zillion channels on the TV, and soak in the whirlpool -- okay, you get the picture. A place to appreciate, and enjoy, and soak in . . . but you never for a minute expect it to last. It isn't home. But it sure is nice.
I'm going to try to apply this thinking to my brain when I'm tempted to grow too attached to this world. Not to its possessions so much, as to its LIVING, to its experiences and its joys. When we have happiness in a place, we tend to want to keep the PLACE, so that we can remember the HAPPINESS.
I'll be setting my thoughts on heaven.