The last class dismissed. As I walked down the sidewalk to my car I glanced up at a stretch of clouds glowing peach and pink as the sun is set in the night sky. It was cool and the beginning of fall lightened my step.
Before I backed my car from the parking space, I opened the sunroof; a breeze on the short drive home finished the day in just the right way. Deciding to take the long way home and reflect on the evening.
Open House. I had a chance to walk through my daughter’s schedule and get a sense of the path she takes each day. What a privilege to meet the people who will influence her thoughts and emotions this year and to hear their plans to enrich her education.
But my joy was multiplied this evening, I believe more than most years. As I walked those halls, I was greeted by smiles, high fives and hugs from former students who remembered me, and seemed to want me to remember them. Parents of former students shared kind words and nodded in kind, were in my path as well.
These were gifts God scattered throughout my evening. I had gathered them, treasuring each. And, as I drove to the post office, I began to upack them in my mind.
And as each tear slowly trailed down my cheek, I began to wonder what it might be like if God had an Open House in Heaven.
Given a chance to take a peek down the future path we will walk on the golden streets of our eternity, imagine how much richer our lives might be here on earth if we only knew what lay ahead?
How might I live each day, each moment differently if I could attend Heaven’s Open House?
Would I be handed a detailed syllabi like Moses in Exodus 3. And watch one of those dizzying Prezi presentations giving details of each task and test God would assign me, with a list of supplies needed to perform the miracle labs? I pray that I wouldn’t question or doubt God’s ability to work through me.
But on those days when I feel insecure and have the lies of the enemy swirling around in my head, I am grateful for leaders like Moses who show me God’s patience, persistently pursuing my participation in His purpose.
What if instead, there is no handout as I enter the classroom. There is no Power Point or presentation. It’s just one of those old fashioned lessons like Abram received in Genesis 12, when God simply said, “Go.”
“Leave your home and your family” and all with which you are familiar and, “Go to the place I will show you,” that you do not know.
And Abram does. Without a question.
What about me?
Could I get up right now? Pick up my purse, bottled water and head out the door of the classroom with just one command, “Go?”
Which way do I head down the hall? Think about that. I’m not even out of the desk and I’m asking that in my head. God knows me.
Maybe I have to take Moses 101 before I can register for Abram 203?
But for you, it might be an AP sort of thing. Maybe you just get to “test out” of the Moses course because God “knows” your heart and you’re ready to go straight to Abram. You might have the faith to move forward without a question or a doubt. I’m not certain if this the right schedule for me. But I move on.
I leave Abram’s class. There is a cool wind blowing in the hall and a bright light down to the right. I follow. The light draws me in… of course, Mary 301. Gosh, this one is hard for me to wrap my mind around.
The instructor of this class is a mighty warrior angel. Quite an intimidating sight to a teenager but he assures me I wouldn’t be in this class if I wasn’t ready. This is also known as the “highly favored” class, and I need to put aside fear even when I become pregnant with God’s child (Luke 1).
This course clearly requires a big faith, a strong spirit, humility, endurance and a pure heart. I am not certain I am in the right room.
But there was that breeze… and that light that brought me here.
I shake my head and blink a few times. Wait! I am in Heaven. This is a preview of the courses I will take in life. Do I really want to know what the future holds?
Have you ever played that game with a friend? What super power would you want? And someone always says, “I want to know the future!”
Man, not me!
We have all lived through difficult times. I know I have had moments and events that stretched my faith to it’s limits and caused my hearts to ache; times that laid me out flat and found me weeping uncontrollably.
And if I knew ahead of time that it was coming, don’t you know that I would run as fast as possible in the opposite direction?
But, I also would not be the same person that I am today and possibly not have the depth of relationship and love for my Lord that I treasure so fiercely.
So I slowly stand from my desk, keeping my eyes focused on the magnificent sight of the messenger angel who brought me good news. I am grateful to be honored and favored this day. But I am also grateful to be 48 and not, most likely, to wake up tomorrow carrying the seed of the Holy Spirit.
Open House in Heaven has been an “interesting” experience. But I believe I understand why God doesn’t hold this annual event. Beside the parking congestion, we are not ready for the weight of our future.
God’s grace is sufficient and His mercies are new each day. (2 Cor 12:9, Lam 3:22-23) He only expects me to live one of them at a time; to it’s very fullest. (Matt 6:34, John 10:10)
But before I leave Heaven, what a joy it would be to hear the Angels sing, to see the cherubim surrounding the throne, to experience the magnificence of the heavens themselves.
I stroll slowly down the streets of gold toward the gates to leave. Taking my time, my eyes wander back and forth, not just trying to take it all in, but hoping I might spot them in the crowd.
If not, I would wait, quietly by the gate, as long as I could before anyone shews me out; hiding in the peachy-pink clouds…
Just to catch just one glimpse of my sweet Daddy and big brother, Scott, walking along sharing life and laughter in the beauty of God’s eternity.