The question was recently posed to me: If you could have anything in the world completely to yourself for one day — any object or place — what would you choose? My immediate response to the question was Buschart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, which I have had the opportunity to visit twice in my life. Talk about a true display of God's creative power, tamed and cultivated by humans of course, but oh my goodness! I have visited twice with my godsister, Linda Anderson, and the first time we went, we were rushing and almost missed the best part of the garden - the fountain in the Sunken Garden! As we stood there and watched the waterwork display, surrounded by flowers beyond belief - blue skies, fluffy clouds on the horizon - we both remarked of how beautiful it was, but how it could not compare with the original Garden of Eden which was not marred by sin. If I could have it to myself for one day, I'd enjoy it, but about midday, I'd invite all my friends in so we could all commune together and enjoy the sunset.
Other people responding to this question answered things like: the Federal Reserve Bank (and she promised a "real" stimulus package for all her friends - I need to make sure I keep in touch with her!); Disney World with no screaming kids, no long lines and unlimited access to Minnie, Mickey and Donald; the Alamo (or other historic sites) - and I am sure that you are thinking of a place yourself as you read this. [Sidebar: there is a comments link at the end of this blog - send me your choice of place, I would be interested in hearing where/what you'd choose]
I thought further and discovered that, in my lifetime, I have been blessed to visit some awesome sights: Mt. Fuji in Japan (but I must admit, I was just a child and more interested in the rides at the amusement park located there than in the majesty of the mountain); sunsets in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Mt. Rainier State Park in Seattle, WA - what a beautiful mountain!; the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens, not too far from my home in Atlanta, GA...the list could go on and on and on.
But, I dream of a place that I will NEVER LEAVE (if I live my life in accordance to the Word of God)...a place with streets of gold, mansions for everyone, beautiful flowers, clear crystal streams...a place of eternal, unending beauty - and I'd like to think there will be a rainbow (or two) in the sky just for me. I'm talking about heaven. And you know, we talk about all the "extra" stuff, but the true attraction of heaven (for me) is the knowledge that I will be able to spend time with my Lord, my Saviour and just say, "thank you" for all that He has done for me. I have often said, I don't care if I don't have a mansion - if God says to me, "no mansion for you, I want you to live in this little hut by the far far gate", I'll be "Yes, Lord, whatever you say." Because the beauty, the drawing point of heaven is not the material things. It's not necessarily the promise of the ability to fly and visit all the unseen worlds (meet me on the former planet Pluto for Sabbath dinner!). It's not necessarily the promise that there will be no more tears, no more separation from loved ones, no more hurts, heartaches and pain - all that is good, don't get me wrong, but the true draw of heaven for me is Jesus. And truly, no matter how wonderful, how beautiful, how magnificent or attractive it may appear here, there is no place on earth that can compare to that.