|Posted by whybelieveinjesus on May 23, 2014 at 5:10 PM|
I found this little story the other day (paraphrased). Very thought provoking:
In a mother's womb were two babies. One asked the other "Do you believe in life after delivery?"
The other replied, "Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what will be later".
"Nonsense," said the first. "There is no life after delivery. What sort of life would that be?"
"I don't know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat with our mouths".
The first said, "That's absurd! Walking is impossible. And eat with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition. Life after delivery is to be excluded; the umbilical cord is too short".
"I think there is something, and maybe it's different from how it is here".
The first replied, "No one has ever come back from there. Delivery is the end of life. The after-delivery is nothing but darkness and it takes us nowhere".
"Well I don't know," said the second, "but we'll see our mother and she will take care of us".
"Mother? You believe in mother? Where is she now, then?"
"She is all around us, we live in her. Without her there would not be this world".
"Well I don't see her so it's only logical she doesn't exist".
The second replied, "Sometimes when you're in silence, you can hear her, you can perceive her. I believe there is a reality after delivery and we are here to prepare ourselves for that reality".
I'm sure you can see correlation between this story and our lives. We are not babies in the womb any more, yet I really do believe that in some ways we are. We are here, on earth, right now, to prepare for something new and much better which will not come to fruition until we die.
To the first baby above, delivery is a death sentence. It is the end of the world he knows and the end of certainty and existence. Delivery is something which is inevitable but because he can't see beyond it, it is a daunting and final event.
The second baby takes a different view and sees that perhaps there is something more, something better which won't happen until the babies are born. Walking with legs and eating with mouths seems a ridiculously ambitious concept to a baby in the womb. Some things that children and adults do is totally beyond the comprehension of the baby. Yet isn't life outside the womb so much better?
The reasoning employed by both babies closely resembles discussions between those who believe in life after death and those who don't. If it cannot be seen and proved and measured, then let's not believe in it. But the second baby does not deny that no one has come back to tell of their experiences outside the womb. He just believes that it is possible that something better might exist afterwards and that the womb is merely a preparation area for something much better.
I think heaven is like this. No one can tell you exactly what to expect with heaven and I would be cautious about believing that it's all full of clouds and harps! Phew! But I do believe that it is incomprehensibly better than what we know and love at the moment. Yes, this world is impressive, beautiful and feels like home but it's temporary. At the most we will live here for a few decades. But heaven is going to be like the prelude ending and the main story beginning.
Jesus Christ often spoke to his disciples and followers about heaven to give them glimpses of how much better it will be and why it is worth living with an eternal perspective rather than one focused entirely on this life. For example, in Matthew 13: 31-32, Jesus says,
"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches".
This allegory is a wonderfully vivid picture. We see seeds all around us on all types of plants. They are beautiful in themselves but the seed has to fall to the ground, shrivel up and die before the true beauty happens - it grows into a much bigger and more impressive or stunning plant. Shrivelled acorns, for example, aren't a sight to behold but a glorious oak tree is phenomenal.
I enjoy being an "acorn", really I do, but I'm looking forward to being that "oak tree" more!