Heaven Is A Lot Like Sex and Chocolates
When everything around me sucks I like to think about Jesus. When I’m not so consumed with the things around me that are sucking, I normally like to think about Starbucks or video games or some new album I purchased or something I have to do or somewhere I want to be. Some times things suck, and some times the sucking is relegated for another moment. When life sucks, well … it sucks. I should know, I am a connoisseur of things that suck (I stole that term from a friend, but I like it so I’m making it mine).
I have been reading a bit of the brilliance left in the wake of C.S. Lewis. Lewis is brilliant. Brilliant enough to write a book that made it to the top 100 books of all time, as listed by TIME magazine. Brilliant enough that that book was a children’s book. Lewis has been talking to me about heaven. Did I tell you he’s pretty smart? Well he is.
I think we need to think about heaven more during Christmas time. It’s amazing that this portion of the year dedicated to celebrating Jesus distracts us from anticipating our reunion with him.
This morning I logged on to my favorite “stuff” website to see that the little guy on the homepage had a “photoshopped” santa hat on. I regret to inform you that holiday shopping season is upon us.
On my morning drive to work I go past a Best Buy Electronic Store. Tonight atmidnight the stores are selling the PlayStation 3 for almost 500.00 or more. There were about fifty people camped outside to get one. In the rain. It was such a brilliant display of materialism.
I want a PS3, but back to my conversation with Lewis this morning.
Lewis was talking about chocolates this morning. It was funny actually. A bit perverted too. He was really talking about sex and chocolates (I just realized I can’t spell chocolates very well, it brings up the spell check every time). Lewis was English. I guess they talk about sex and chocolates more than we do in the “colonies”.
Lewis said that if you told a child that greatest thrill in life was sex, he would ask you “Do you get to eat chocolates with that?” Then Lewis said if you said “No, you don’t even think of chocolates when you’re having sex” then the child would walk away thinking that “sex cannot possibly be the greatest thrill in life if it doesn’t involve chocolates.” (reference a)
Did I tell you that Lewis was brilliant? He still is, even though that seems incredibly perverted.
We only know what we know. We approach everything with some sort of background knowledge. See, if I was talking to you about the Cathedral of St. Kilian you may have an appreciation for my words and the imagery that I could convey as we talk, but you most likely would not have stood atop the mountain in that ancient church that overlooks Wurzburg, Germany. I was blessed to go there, twice, and I can tell you that those moments cannot be expressed completely through language. They were beautiful and sacred and meaningful.
When God talks to us about the life that he wants us to live that, too, is something that is so foreign to us that we walk away with appreciation, but often with sincere questions that say “life without that cannot possibly be the best life for me to live”.
When God mentions heaven, eternity in the presence of God and His Son, we like to think of it in Hollywood language, because we understand mansions and gold and diamonds and crowns. Yes, we understand more stuff. Heaven for most believers can be consummated with this: “We win and we get the most stuff”. I don’t think we get more stuff in the end.
Lewis said something the other day is thought was pretty cool. He was talking about heaven and the lives that we lead on earth. We all use our life as a template for what it will be like in heaven, just a lot better. Lewis said he thinks when stand in the full glory of the eternal presence of God that somehow this life and this earth most likely will seem like some form of hell. I think he’s right. (reference b)
Some times we get small glimpses into exactly how broken our lives are and how whole and complete God is. I think Lewis sees that, even if he can be a bit perverted.
In a book of the bible called Romans (in Chapter 8), the writer, a guy named Paul, talks about how much this world sucked after sin entered it and how there is a longing within us to return to wholeness of our created intentions. (reference c)
I guess it’s on those days when everything sucks relentlessly that we are reminded that this world is not enough.
This holiday season you will have a few moments that suck. Count on it.
Perhaps you will get that lime green sweatshirt with “St. Paul Minnesota” written on the front that you’ve always wanted from your grandmother. It might be worse. You might get a fruitcake (I think I’m the only person alive who thinks fruitcake is good gift material). Or it could be a real tragedy. Some of the people you love will spend their first Christmas without their father, their mother, or someone they care deeply about.
When those moments come, realize that you are eating chocolate. That you live in a world and lead a life that, no matter how hard we struggle, is a faint glimmer of the world and life that we are destined to in Christ as His follower.
One day we will see clearly. One day we will be revealed. Until then, we eat chocolates.
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Reference A – C.S. Lewis “The Great Divorce” Preface.
Reference B – C.S. Lewis “Miracles”
Reference C – Romans 8:19-23