Thursday, January 13, 2011

Epiphany Moment: Strumming on a Cloud?

Don't get me wrong, I have never thought heaven would be boring.

But since I started writing novels more seriously I've had this series of thoughts:

Heaven will be perfect. No more pain. No more angst. No more suffering.

And what's the first lesson you learn as a writer?

Without pain, without angst, without suffering, there's no plot. It's a boring story.

Right?

So, where does that leave our eternity in heaven? I don't think we'll be sitting on a cloud strumming a harp for fifteen billion plus years, but even with work to do and praises to sing and perfection to revel in, will heaven be interesting without the drama?

I'm doing a Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Revelation over the next eleven weeks. This last week we read Revelation 1, the part where Jesus appears in all his glory to John. That's when I had an epiphany moment.

On earth we feel like we *need* drama to be entertained. We need a good dose of angst to keep our minds busy. (As writers, we know this.)

But in heaven, we'll replace drama with glory. Not our own glory, but God's glory.

Read John's account of  what Jesus looked like to him (some of it's symbolic, so don't freak out when you read that Jesus has a sword protruding from his mouth) and prepare to be unbored:

"...and among the lampstands was someone 'like a son of man,' dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: 'Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.'" (Rev 1: 13-18, NIV)

Whew, that gives me goosebumps.

No, I don't think we'll need drama once we're in the presence of the living God.

How about you? If you believe in heaven, have you ever wondered if heaven would be a little boring? (I don't mind you disagreeing with me!)

16 comments:

  1. Gorgeous new design!

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  2. Thanks, Esther! I got it from the Shabby Blogs website. They have the coolest backgrounds.

    Amy

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  3. I love thinking about heaven. :) I read a wonderful essay once during highschool, so of course I don't remember the author, comparing our current perception of heaven to the way a fish in a deep pond would see the dry world. It wouldn't wonder: what is it like to ride a bicycle? Is a sunset pretty? Does the fresh breeze feel nice? because it has no concept that these things even exist.
    I have my own personal theory that much of eternity will be "spent" creating truly great art. After all, God is The Artist--probably that is one of the best ways to define him, if you could do such a thing--or at least it is one of the primary ways he has revealed himself to us. Since we are created in his image, our ability to create is something that makes us human and not animal--and in heaven our humanity will reach its perfection. Can you imagine what Michelangelo could do in heaven if the Last Judgement was only his earthly accomplishment?
    Thanks for bringing up an interesting thing to think/ramble about! :)

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  4. Funny, but I've been thinking about heaven and hell lately as well ... I think heaven is all perfection and glory with God and I can imagine the most beautiful music and art and there will be always God's work to do ... we say in the Lord's Prayer: Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven. So we'll do it perfectly. In my imagination, there are always mangoes involved ... (I know, I just can't help it).

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  5. I think Heaven will be a lot like earth. Only we will remember all the time exactly how bleesed we are to be there.
    (Strumming harps and lounging on clouds does not seem to me something a glorious creator would endow us with

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  6. I've had these exact thoughts- Without the fear of death, will adventure be adventure? I love this line you wrote:

    But in heaven, we'll replace drama with glory. Not our own glory, but God's glory.

    I used to have a tough time contemplating going on and on without end. Then it dawned on me that's because on Earth I need rest, I need an end, even to good things, but in Heaven we will be in perfect rest and peace, so going on forever won't be exhausting like the thought of it is here.

    And as a creative soul, the idea that I'll actually have time to pursue the creativity I long to do here but never have enough time for, thrills me.

    I'm in a hurry to go pick up my girls from school, so I hope this isn't too much of a ramble. : )

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  7. I'm a believer, and I don't think I'll be bored. I've got a lot to learn, and I hope to keep on learning even when my days here are done. :)

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  8. Ditto Pen and Ink. I imagine heaven will be a lot like earth (but without all the drama, as you said:) ), with time spent with family and friends.

    I actually find myself wondering more about what life will be like during the Millennium, Jesus Christ's thousand-year reign on the earth. Mostly, I find myself wondering, if I'm still alive then, what I'll write about, since, ya know, a thousand years of peace and prosperity isn't exactly the normal formula for successful fiction:)

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  9. I've never thought it would be boring. I'm betting we'll have more there to do (a lot more important things!). :)

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  10. Sounds like a great Bible study you are doing. Love Beth Moore's stuff.
    Heaven, yeah I used to think I'd get bored, too. But, rest sounds good...and knowing that my daughter will be 5p+ just makes me smile. =)

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  11. I don't think it will be boring at all. For the reasons you mentioned, and also because God has displayed His glory through our world and the stories of our lives, and through the story of Christ coming to die for us, and I think we will be retelling stories from our time on earth that shows God's glory and majesty through the trials and hardships of life. And that, in my mind, is pretty darn exciting. :)

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  12. Thoughtful post. I've been thinking a lot about this lately since my mom is there now. I also wonder about being a writer for eternity. Because I would love that!

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  13. Also I want to add that my mom taught a Bible Study class for years, and this year she was very excited about studying Revelations. She had bought several books on the subject and had been listening to different programs on the prophecies of Revelations. I hope she's learning lots over there on the other side about what's to come, what has come and all the other things she was so interested in. She loved the Bible and studied it diligently. Your post gave me a warm fuzzy, Amy.

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  14. Wonderful post, Amy! I think it will be wonderful to be at peace and to have no drama and to be full of love and in God's precence (Maybe I'll even be able to spell when I get there.). I was in a Bible study class that discussed you will feel the same love for everyone...I had and still have a hard time with that. I can't imagine loving the pizza delivery guy as much as I love my daughter or my grandmother. You know? Do pets go to heaven? Cause I really need to believe that they do...

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  15. Are you sure that there won't be any drama??

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  16. Wow, you guys are all so awesome. I love these thoughtful and thought-provoking comments!

    Kim, definitely "drama" in the negative sense. As in "drama queen." I'm not planning to be a drama queen in heaven. :) That's one of those faults I'm hoping to leave on earth.

    Karen, I can't wait to get to heaven and meet your mom! I think that will be one of the coolest things is meeting all the people we didn't get to meet on earth. People from the Bible included. We do have a ton to look foward to, don't we? I'm excited.

    Love to you all,
    Amy

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