Monday, June 2, 2008

Wife Rule #52: We Reach Toward Heaven

This morning I'm still on a high, coming off a wonderful, incredibly full weekend. Since Friday afternoon, we had a birthday party celebrating my thirty-third birthday; I went on a "Fathers and Sons" campout with Scott and Andrew and my dad; and yesterday, our new baby Charity received a special blessing in our church, a public rite that celebrates each new child born into our congregational family.

All three of these happy events involved celebrations with my family. My birthday was a celebration of my parents giving me life. The campout was a celebration of being a father to two wonderful, high-energy sons, and being a son to my wonderful father. And the baby blessing was a spiritual celebration of a very special new daughter, fresh from heaven.

Last night, after the events were over, and the feasts were eaten, and the visiting family had gone home, and the dishes were done, and the camping supplies were cleaned up, and the kids were tucked in bed (for the third time), and life looked like it was headed back towards normalcy, my wife and I were exhausted.

We were each sort of flopped across one of the soft couches in our family room, just enjoying the stillness. Charity was asleep, breathing soft coos in her bouncer chair nearby. A light, refreshingly cool breeze flowed from the open windows across the room. Soft, yellow lamplight illuminated our cozy home. We looked across the room at each other, with tired, satisfied eyes.

"I love you, honey. You make my life so full and happy. Thanks for everything."

"You're very welcome. I love you too!"

We were both in a quiet state of reverie, each slow, measured breath a sigh of both relief and contentment.

Reflecting on such times, I am lead to believe that the peace and joy that permeated the atmosphere last night, and continues into the morning today, must be sort of what heaven feels like. It wasn't hyperventilating ecstasy, nor was it mindless strumming on a harp while bouncing from cloud to cloud. It was a sense of peaceful joy in the fruits of our labors, and above all, of gratitude for how the Lord has blessed us so abundantly. It was a sense of being perfectly content with the good parts of life, while being willing to overlook the ever-present hard parts. It seemed to hint strongly of the type of perfect life that is promised to those who overcome the trials of this life and are allowed, at last, to rest.

My wife and I are not even remotely close to perfection yet; neither are our children or any other members of our family. But at times such as we experienced last night, we are perfectly bound together in a common goal, as we reach toward heaven.

It wasn't hard to imagine our Heavenly Parents smiling down on us as we experienced just a hint of the glorious life that They lead; a small fraction of their joy, and peace, and satisfaction, all wrapped up in family and love. In such times we see in clarity all that is good, all that gives meaning to life and makes it abundant. We pierce through the haze of this life, peering towards the life that They live in perfection.

And from what I can see now, it looks so, so good.

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