The Treadmill Life

The Treadmill Life

The treadmill is good.  On cold, rainy days, the treadmill provides a warm, dry workout.  I use the treadmill often in the dark winter months when I rely heavily on artificial light.  However, the treadmill is also a boring road to nowhere.  It is a paltry falsification of the real thing: a run outside.

 

 

 

Running outside is better.  I can think of few things that are more relaxing than a warm, breezy outdoor run at the park.  Sunshine pours through the trees, and I absorb the beautiful golden rays.  The jog takes me somewhere, and there is freedom.

 

 

Life is good.  At least, life on earth has many good things: family, friends, sunshine, running, cookies, photography, etc.  But while there are many good things on earth, life on earth is like running on a treadmill.  This temporary life is a mediocre substitution for life in heaven.

stars at the grand canyon

Eternal life is better. 

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him.

– I Corinthians 2:9

The joys of heaven cannot be compared to the minimal goodness of earth.  Heaven is lit by the glory of God (Revelation 21:23) and is filled with everlasting worship (Revelation 4).  The bejeweled city is free from the curse of sin (Revelation 21-22).  We will have new bodies that never face hunger or death (Revelation 7:16).  Most importantly, we will have pure fellowship with the Father (Revelation 22:3).

All winter long, I run on the treadmill, preparing for the day that will be warm enough, bright enough, and dry enough for an outdoor run.

Likewise, we must redeem our time on earth and prepare for eternity in the presence of God.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

– Ephesians 5:15-16

Kat_signature

Finding Whose We Are: Strangers

Finding Whose We Are: Strangers

findingwhoseweare.jpg

I started my job at the university four months ago, and, for the most part, I have no complaints.  I am thankful for the Christian atmosphere, familiar surroundings, and proximity to family.  However, there is one situation in which I struggle for contentment.

Read more

Small Potatoes

Small Potatoes

Source

 

{Disclaimer for all of my Bible college friends:  yes, I used the Message instead of ESV, KJV, NASB, etc.  No, I am not a heretic 🙂 }

I sit across the supper table from a friend that I met the first day of freshman orientation.  After three years of college, a lot has changed.  He is engaged and about to add Master’s level classes on top of his undergrad courses.  I am writing lesson plans and preparing for student teaching.  Both of us feel stretched thin with work, classes, ministry, and social events.  Yet, we have remained close friends.

“We’re old,” I say, and he nods solemnly.  Three years older.  Three years academically smarter.  Three years supposedly wiser.

And those three years were far from easy–academically, emotionally or physically.  We faced daunting tests, questionable cafeteria food, unending papers, dramatic relationships, and late nights.  Meanwhile, the world around us fought ISIS, diseases, hunger, human rights, poverty, and politics.  As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “On the outside it often look[ed] like things [were] falling apart on us.”  It would be easy for us to become depressed.

These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. 

– 2 Corinthians 4:17

Small potatoes.  Just like the french fries that my friend quickly devours off of his plate, the world’s struggles will disappear.  There is something beyond this world that we hold as our hope.

There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

-2 Corinthians 4:18

Yes, this world boasts hardships aplenty.  But there is so much more beyond this temporary life. Beyond this life, there is a street paved with pure gold.  There is a city surrounded with twelve pearl gates (Rev. 21:21).  There is a land with no night, no toil, and no tears (Rev. 21: 4, 22:3, 22:5).  Most importantly, there is a Savior who is preparing for us to join him (John 14:1-3).  There is an eternity of praising our God (Rev. 22:5).

Heaven is our hope when time gets hard.  Heaven is our promise as we endure this world’s pain.  Heaven is our eternal celebration.

The world is just a small potato.

When We All Get to Heaven

When We All Get to Heaven

On my first full day in Togo, I visited Adeta Church.  While the worship was not nearly as feisty as the worship at other Togolese churches that my friends visited, I observed women, men, and children alike in prayerful communication with God by way of song.  They sang from their souls, not their lips.

At the close of the service, the congregation sang these familiar words:

When we all get to Heaven,

What a day of rejoicing that will be.

When we all see Jesus,

We’ll sing and shout the victory.

There we stood, representing at least two nations and three languages.  Yet, we all worshiped the same God.  And when we all get to Heaven, we will lift one voice to praise Him eternally.

Quote

Questions for Heaven

Handwriting

“There are three things that are too hard for me, really four I don’t understand: the way an eagle flies in the sky, the way a snake slides over a rock, the way a ship sails on the sea, and the way a man and a woman fall in love.”

–Proverbs 30:18-19

Although he lived thousands of years ago, I have a lot in common with Agur, the author of this proverb.  Like him, I do not understand how a snake can move without legs.  I cannot comprehend how an eagle–a huge, majestic creature–can suspend itself in the sky.  Likewise, ships weigh more than water, yet they float.  When it comes to seemingly simple facts, I have little understanding.

One thing I look forward to about Heaven is learning the answers to these questions.  How many stars fill the universe?  Are dandelions flowers or weeds?  When God said, “Let there be light,” did lightning shoot out of His mouth?  What are the birds saying when they sing?  Does God have spare time?  There are more complex queries I have as well.  I want to fathom eternity.  I want to comprehend the Trinity.  What causes cancer?  How could Jesus love me so much that he died for me, despite my sinful rebellion?

For now, I must find peace in the fact that God is omniscient, and He does not expect me to have all the answers.  I save up the questions for the future.

What are your questions for Heaven?