May 23, 2009

Cambridge and Heaven

Our brief time in Cambridge gave me a glimpse into Heaven. Cambridge has a beauty that is overwhelming, and I couldn't help but wonder if Heaven will be even more overwhelming in its beauty. But then, perhaps we won't overwhelmed at all, because that carries with it a sense of frustration.... and I really can't imagine being frustrated by anything in Heaven.

There are gates everywhere in Cambridge; visitors and tourists are not allowed beyond these gates without being with the right person. When we first arrived at King's College, Brett told the porter (guard) at the gate, that he wanted to see his advisor, a professor in that college. He showed him his Cambridge identification, and the porter allowed us in. I was struck by the fact that we didn't get in on our own merit, but on Brett's. It also intrigued me that Brett was only allowed in because he knew the name of his advisor and asked to see him. If we had gone without Brett, we would have been turned away. And if Brett had simply asked to get in as a student of Trinity, not King's College, he also would have been turned away. When we get to heaven, I wonder if we will stand at the gate and ask to see Jesus. Actually, I wonder if it will be Jesus, Himself, who will meet us and welcome us in.

The pleasure visiting Cambridge brought me is almost indescribable, although I have tried. I carry in my mind images and experiences that were worth every penny (pound) we spent. And I suspect I shall happily think about this trip for the rest of my life. Yet, as lasting as these memories will be, they are just part of my very temporal life on this earth. There is, I believe, a greater purpose, and I am reminded of John Piper's words, "This, then, is the point of all pleasure.... Pleasure says, 'God is like this, only better; do not make an idol of me; I simply point.'" And so, my experience of Cambridge was not an end in itself, but a means to an end; it points me to God, the Giver of all that is good on this earth, and the One who invites me to experience Him forever.... now THAT will be Heaven.