Do we hope heaven is a holiday?

Life can get pretty rough at times.

Looking back 100 years I’m sure the challenges were different. Another 200 years in the past and the things that tried men’s souls were even more different.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty grateful to have the challenges of today and not yesterday. I’ll just mention indoor plumbing and a furnace. Need I say more?

At any rate, I’m sure that all through history there have been very tailored and unique sets of hardships that made that generation feel they were being pushed to their limits.rope

You’ve heard the saying “When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.”

Ever wondered why?

If you get to the end and things are too hard, why not just let your fingers quietly slip from the rope?

There is something within each of us that innately tells us that there is more. This life isn’t all there is. We don’t die and cease to exist. All the work and effort applied in this life have to be for something we hope to be better.

Right?

And so we hold on.

We had a pretty great conversation with some of our neighbors about a week ago. These are wonderful, kind, loving people who are going through something that is just about as tough as it gets.

During the conversation one of them brought up a really valid frustration. He shared with us that he had hope in the life to come. His faith was strong enough to know that it would be better 100 years from now when we had all died and moved on to the next life.

I agree with him.

I have faith and hope that the next phase for us will be even better than what we are experiencing now. Hard for me to imagine how it could be better, but that is the hope.clouds1

(Source: LDS Media Library)

But his frustration was how to have the hope today, right in the middle of this multiple-year long horrific bout with cancer that will realistically be part of the rest of their lives.

How do you wake up each morning with hope in the day? Not tomorrow, but today.

Perhaps there are two thoughts here to explore:

How do we really imagine heaven to be? Is it a great vacation from all we have been doing here? No more work, no more stress, no more problems?

and,

What is hope when related to the present and not the future?

These are just my thoughts and opinions. I don’t speak for anyone, just me. But while I have faith that the next life will be even better than this one, I don’t necessarily think it will be easier.

Just as the people 200 years ago, and 100 years ago, and now, have vastly different things that grind their faces into the mud, in the next 100, 200 and 1000 years people will have things that we probably can’t even imagine in our wildest dreams placed in their path that they will need to overcome.

I believe that we are constantly growing and changing. I’m not sure that there really is an “arrival” so much as there is a “continuation.”

In fact, it makes sense to me that those who reach the highest levels of eternity will not be free of pain and heartache; rather just the opposite. I believe they will be faced with the most intense pain, suffering, and sorrow.

Not from their own sin or bad choices, but of those whom they love.

clouds3

(Source: LDS Media Library)

Wouldn’t that be the real meaning of compassion? I think of the shortest verse of scripture being “Jesus wept.” His pain was not of his own doing, but for others suffering.

You see, as we develop greater capacities to love and feel and experience, we also develop the deep capacities to hurt.

Isn’t that one of the reasons we find pain in our path intermittently here on earth? We get it a dose at a time, kind of like an inoculation that helps our souls become strong enough to withstand the full onslaught that will come.

But only if we are fortunate enough to feel that deeply.

To me, that is more what heaven will be like for us. Not a holiday by any measure, but certainly more full and rich and intense than anything we have ever known.

So, what does that mean for having hope today, in the now and not in some abstract then?

As Ann would say, hope for us really isn’t about all sunshine and rainbows. It includes shadows and storms and thunder and landslides.clouds2

It’s not necessarily for the good that we hope to come as much as it is about finding peace and strength in whatever our experience is now.                                                                   (Source: LDS Media Library)

Hope is quiet, yet fortifying.

Hope is fragile, yet unbreakable.

Hope gives us a focal point in the distance, but also clarity to really see all that surrounds us now.

Do we hope that heaven will be a holiday from all our worries and troubles?

I hope not.

I’d rather learn to soar and feel and love and live. clouds4

And all that comes with it.                                                                

 

 

                                                                       (Source: LDS Media Library)  

3 thoughts on “Do we hope heaven is a holiday?”

  1. So I’m sitting here at the table after reading your post, chewing it over in my mind. I usually read what you’ve written & think “yes! I was thinking that same thing!” But this time I’m hoping it’s not how you envision. I get the struggle in the now & the purpose of the struggle, but haven’t we always been taught “endure to the end”? That implies, to me, that there is a finish line, an end. An end to sorrow, an end to pain, an end to struggle.
    A while ago, I was having a conversation with my dad about something similar (somehow he acquired all this knowledge between now & when I was a teenager). We were talking about how we will feel if/when we are in the celestial kingdom & others in our family are not. He suggested that we would still feel sorrow but it would be a different sorrow because of our changed eternal perspective. We would mourn for what we all lost, but also be glad that we are all where we belong. I like the idea that we will still have our emotions, but they will be tempered by a full understanding.
    Just my two cents.
    Love you as always.

    1. Chelsea,

      Scripture would certainly back up your thoughts, which would probably need to mean that you are right and I’m not. Maybe it’s the bipolar in me, you know, as the highs get higher the lows get lower. Opposition in all things. I guess I just think that Heavenly Father had to be hurting pretty badly when He told Noah to build that ark, and only save a handful of His wicked and wayward children. When He sees one of His innocent children molested, beaten and killed has to just rip His heart right out. I guess I was thinking more of that kind of thing. Because we will understand what real, true, pure love and compassion are, our capacity to mourn with those who mourn would have to be pretty intense too.

      I would think that when we start the next phase that it is really when we are going to get to work. This life is just kind of a build up to it; the harder we work here the farther ahead we will be when we start that next job. But I would think that it would be work without the squabbling of coworkers or anxiety of a failing business or fear of being robbed by your employees. We’ll all be on the same page, and I think that would be pretty great.

      I agree with you completely that we will be happier than we ever could have imagined. We won’t want to be anywhere else because, there is no where else that would come close to comparing with it. I also think that if we don’t learn how to feel at least close to that here with what we have now, then it is going to be kind of tough to achieve it there. I don’t think we hang on until the clock runs out and then get the prize. I think we have to learn how to find the prize, so to speak, while we hare still hanging on.

      Probably makes no sense whatsoever. I love that you read and I love that you commented and shared your perspective. Like I say, the scriptures agree with you so I would bet that you are more on target than I am. Keep sharing your thoughts. They make us better people.

      Love you always,

      g

  2. Thank you so much for thinking about us and our struggles. I especially liked your thoughts on hope. It’s what we have to hang onto during these times as well as better times. We appreciate you and your family so much !

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