I was a little shocked when he addressed it. “It” being the thing I’ve always secretly wondered, but have been too afraid to say out loud because it seems un-Christian and blasphemous and potentially gasp-inducing to religious ears.
No one has ever brought “it” up in my presence, so I, of course, felt “it” too shameful to even think about. Yet, Pastor Mark Brewer wasn’t afraid to give voice to the seemingly tainted inquiry. He ripped it straight from my very human head at Bel Air Presbyterian Church yesterday, as he brought up a young boy who once asked him the question, “If heaven lasts for eternity, wouldn’t it be… boring?”
“Heaven… boring?” My head snapped up with attention – others have wondered the same thing too? I thought. I’m not alone with this debaucherous musing?
I waited breathlessly for Pastor Brewer’s response.
“What could we possibly do for a billion years that wouldn’t get boring?” He continued.
“Yes, yes, what can we do? Eat?” I wondered from my pew, as usual, thinking about my stomach.
He paused to consider golfing, playing tennis, eating, before finally giving us the answer – the key to a blessed Christian life.
In the day since, I have spent considerable time thinking about Pastor Brewer’s answer. I agree with it, of course – love is the central theme of this whole Christianity business, and I do believe that it is what sustains life on this crazy planet. Love has certainly been a pivotal factor in getting me through the trials and tribulations of this past year. I don’t know that I would have had the strength to keep my head up were it not for God’s love, and the earthly love He has blessed me with through my amazing family and friends.
But there’s something else that has kept me smiling during a year when I’ve been forced to move twice, have experienced several professional set-backs and have been out on a grand total of six dates since January 2009.
Love combined with hope is what keeps my eyes bright even when my heart is feeling dull. I have the ability to love because, even with the setbacks, I still have hope – hope for something better to come – tomorrow, next month, this coming year. And if not now -- in this life, hope that something better awaits me in heaven.
Hope is why I can smile at the stranger standing in-line next to me at Coffee Bean. Hope is why I can (begrudeoningly) let the Range Rover over on the 405. And hope is why I can forgive the date who didn’t offer to pay for my cup of Serenity tea at Urth Caffe.
My faith in a brighter future is what gives me the heart to share God’s love in the present. For even if this world does not always reciprocate that love (or buy me dinner), I know I have an eternity of love (and food) awaiting me in God’s world – heaven.