Monday, January 4, 2010

Glimpses of Heaven

"The best of life on Earth is a glimpse of Heaven; the worst of life is a glimpse of Hell." Randy Alcorn, from his book Heaven

I recently began reading the book Heaven by Randy Alcorn. I'm only on about page 68 or so, and it's already re-shaping my views on Heaven and bringing to light how seldom this topic is discussed among Christians or preached about. I picked up the book with a specific hope: that it will help diminish my fear of death. The existence of this fear has often made me feel that my faith is not strong enough, but I think it's really my understanding of the reality of Heaven that is weak.

The quote above stood out to me because I have often felt that there are specific experiences or moments in my life that were like bits of Heaven on earth or little loving touches from God. Alcorn goes on to discuss that earth might have been inspired by Heaven in sort of the same way that humans were created in God's image. This got me thinking: Could it be worthwhile, or even a spiritual exercise, to create a greater awareness of those heavenly moments and be more intentional about thanking God for them and using them as a reminder to set our minds on Heaven and eternity?

Conversely, those darkest moments of our lives here on earth could be promptings to thank God for His grace in sparing us from Hell and to pray for others to open themselves to faith in Him.

Sometimes we view the spiritual and things that can be experienced with our senses as completely separate, possibly even in opposition to each other. But what could be more spiritual than taking in a beautiful view of the mountains or sunset and then saying thank you to the Creator and meditating on the beauty of his works? So many things that can be felt, seen, heard, tasted, or touched could actually be foretastes of the incredible life that awaits us in Heaven.

More thoughts on this to come, but I would be curious to hear what some of your "foretaste of Heaven" moments might be.