We recently returned home from a trip to Europe which featured a Rhine River cruise. It was our first cruise. We saw many wonderful sites, such as the Alps in Switzerland, castles and cathedrals. It was our third, and possibly, our final trip to Europe, and it caused me to say to Tammy a few days after returning, “Oh the things we have seen”. Yes, this world is wonderful.
It got me to thinking about all the things that I have seen in my lifetime. Growing up, our family took car trips during the summer, so we got to see many of our states, and things like Niagara Falls, Disneyland and the Baseball Hall of Fame, among many other sites that I think back on. Unlike my cousin and two aunts who did get to see the Beatles in concert, I never did. But I did get to see three of the four members in concert, and even I’ve walked across Abbey Road. I’ve seen just about every music artist I’ve ever wanted to, some of them several times. I’ve seen Michael Jordan play several times, watched Doug Collins play in my hometown during his college years, saw my childhood hero Mickey Mantle hit a home run late in his career, watched Tiger Woods play several times, went to the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, played on some spectacular golf courses, and saw Mark McGuire hit home run number 60, when the single season record was 61. We’ve been to many theology conferences, heard wonderful speakers which includes my spiritual mentor R.C. Sproul dozens of times. Yes, oh the things I have seen! I have been blessed. Take just a few minutes to think of the wonderful things you have seen in your lifetime. Your list will look different from mine. What would your list look like?
Tammy and I enjoy traveling, but we always enjoy coming home. No matter how good a time we’ve had, it’s great to come home – to sleep in our own beds, see our family, friends, dog, and worship in our home church.
I’ve at times told Tammy that time spent at a theology conference, for example the recent worship led by CityAlight at the Gospel Coalition National Conference, is a “taste of Heaven”. But theology conferences, great experiences at sporting events or concerts that feel like a taste of heaven, all come to an end. They don’t satisfy- we were made for eternal joy.
As wonderful as this world is, and it is wonderful, we know that it is not our home. I’ve often said that this world – with all of the blessings God has given us, and yes, the sorrow, loss and suffering that is part of it – is as bad as it is ever going to get for the believer. We have so much more to look forward to.
For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our everlasting home in heaven. Hebrews 13:14 (Living Bible)
Tammy will ask me from time to time where I would like to travel to, or what I would like to see. I’ve seen far more than I ever thought I would see. Each day I enjoy the beauty of this creation, but I look forward to our new home, in the New Jerusalem, seeing Jesus’ face to face, where:
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away. Revelation 21:4 (ESV)
Yes, this world is wonderful. Enjoy it, take care of it, and be amazed by it. But for the believer, we have much more to look forward to.