Friday, July 07, 2006

Meanwhile we groan

Has it ever hit you just how much effort and time it takes just to maintain things?

This week we had to shell out BIG bucks for a new air conditioning system for our house. Our 8-yr. old unit was too small to keep up with the heat and it just gave out. This morning I had to get my driveway and back porch pressure-washed. Last week I had to get my wheels aligned on one of our cars. I just finished mowing the grass. . . Michael or I will need to do it again in 4 days. The last time I went to the dentist they told me I have gingivitis, so they gave me this medicine ($25) that I'm supposed to swish around in my mouth every night. . . so now I have to floss AND brush AND swish that stuff around in my mouth. . . dragging that routine out even longer.

Washing clothes for the billionth time. . . changing the oil in the car. . . trimming the hedges. . . washing the dishes. . . cleaning the oven. . . taking clothes to the dry cleaner. . . eating. . . sweeping out the garage. . . taking showers. . . shaving. . . cleaning the shower. . . edging the lawn. . . ironing & putting away clothes. . . making the bed. . . vacuuming the floors. . . making kids do all the things they are supposed to do. . . cooking. . . cleaning up after meals. . .

And that's just a partial list. Why, when you start adding all that up, you find out 99% of the day is occupied with maintenance of something! And somewhere you also have to fit in those other little things, like staying happily married and teaching your kids to love God and building the Kingdom and such.

It's no wonder that Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:2, "Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling."

I believe that one of the greatest things about heaven will be not having to maintain anything. Nothing will wear out or get dirty or die. I'm not sure how we'll get around, but whatever it is will not require gas or oil. We'll have work to do (like Adam and Eve did in the Garden even before sin entered the world), but we won't be fighting irresistible forces of decline. I guess we'll be naked (yikes!!), since Adam & Eve were before the fall. . . so there will be no clothes to wash. (That's a really weird thought. All those glorified bodies walking around. . . yet no lust or embarrassment or comparing one with another?? How can that be??!!)

Anyway, we should be thinking a lot more about our heavenly dwelling than we do. In Pilgrim's Progress, one of the things that kept Christian going was thinking about the Celestial City. Paul tells us that one day "the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God" (Romans 8:21). He says that one day Jesus "will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like His glorious body" (Philippians 3:21). He says that one day "the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed" (1 Corinthians 15:52). The apostle John tells us that one day "there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away" (Revelation 21:4). He also says that one day those who know Christ "will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever" (Revelation 22:4-5).

In this life we groan because grass keeps growing, teeth decay, cars and air conditioners break down, floors and clothes and bodies and dishes get dirty, kids disobey, and life is just so dadgum daily. But one day, and sooner than we think, we'll hear those wonderful words: "Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world" (Matthew 25:34).

1 comment:

catbird said...

Thank you, Mike. I needed this post today.
Sometimes it's easy to forget that we are royalty, headed for a Kingdom!