November 1, 2010

Eternal Church Camp...

A long time ago, my daughter figured out that my mother's husband isn't really my father. I think his last name being different from mine was her first clue, and from there she began noticing that I look nothing like him.

After some careful observation, she confronted me about this and displayed a serious interest in the grandpa she had never met. I showed her pictures of my dad and brother and told her as much about them as I could remember and she could comprehend at the time. Without any discussion on the subject, she assumed that they are in heaven.

While putting her to bed one night, she looked me in the eye and asked a very thoughtful question. "If your real daddy is in heaven, what is he doing up there?" The question was simple. She understood what keeps people busy in our world, but what is there to do to pass the time in a place where the only measurement for time is eternity?

You don't work because everything is provided. You don't fix things because everything is made new. You don't worry because there is no crying or pain. So what do you do?

This is a tough question no matter who asks it. But try explaining this deep subject to a six-year old. What goes on in heaven? Well, we are given several glimpses into the throne room of God. The Hebrew writer gives us a peek in Hebrews 12. In this description, he places the saints who have gone on before in the outer part of the throne room. Yet, he doesn't describe what they are doing there other than focusing on the altar of God. Other places in scripture teach us that heaven is a place of joyful assembly. A place where there is unending fellowship, spirit-filled singing, and awesome praise to God. It's like the best spiritual experience you have ever had multiplied and amplified by infinity! So I reckon that's what heaven is like.

But how do your tell a six-year old this. They have yet to have a real spiritual high point, so how do you describe worship. . . like a church service? Church services aren't fun to little ones (and sometimes not-so-little-ones) because it's a place where you have to sit down and be quiet, so I threw that idea out.

So I went with a simpler approach. . . church camp. Olivia would stay with me all week at camp if I'd let her. So I said heaven is like a great camp. There's singing, worship, and fun with friends. And you never have to leave. Unending church camp seemed a good idea to Olivia and she was satisfied to know that my dad and brother are having such a grand time.

Then she asked another question, "What else is your real daddy doing up there?" Without batting an eye, I answered, "waiting to meet you, Pumpkinhead, waiting to meet you."

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