Ever heard someone use the phrase “God showed up?” Usually it’s uttered after a powerful worship service. After the singing and the preaching, someone says, “Wow. God was there. Did you feel that?” I know I’ve said it before. But it’s one of those sayings that isn’t accurate. The longer I follow Jesus I realize that He is with me and he’s not leaving. He’s not the type that comes late to a party or “shows up” when he feels like it. He abides.
A while back I was having trouble sleeping so I went to see my doctor. He ended up scheduling an appointment with a neurologist. So, for about a month I made several visits to the doctor and found myself sitting in the waiting room.
I’m convinced there is not another setting on earth that is more divided or full of contrasts than a hospital waiting room. Some people wait to hear news of new life; others wait to hear about death. There are those who are leaving the hospital, having recovered from their illness or made it successfully through operations and procedures; others, though, are just arriving, ready to fix what is broken. Joy and sorrow are dance partners in such a place.
I discovered a new television channel the other night. There was nothing new on my DVR and my Netflix account wasn’t working properly, so I was stuck having to search through commercial filled TV channels to find something to watch. It was a rough night…and also the epitome of ‘first world problems.’ Eventually, though, I stumbled across the AXS TV channel. It’s a channel that usually goes unnoticed, tucked away past my usual television stomping ground of ESPN, A& E and the History Channel. Turns out, the AXS channel shows concerts and other music-inspired media. Not too bad of a discovery. And it just so happened that at nine o’clock on a Sunday evening an older John Mayer concert was on. For those who know me, this is a beautiful discovery analogous to finding a substantial balance left on a Starbucks gift card.
John Mayer inspired a previous blog post of mine because, well, I love him. (Actually, I love his music… not him per say) It’s true. I am a big a fan of his and he said something on AXS TV that was captivating. John was describing a musician’s journey and shared that musicians as a lot are all about continuity. There is this continuation among st musicians where you can pick out their sound and style and connect it to people who’ve gone before them. John mentioned his music is heavily influenced by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Hendrix. According to John, he was drawn to these two in particular because their guitar playing was ‘otherworldly.’ There was something about the way they not only played their instruments, but embodied the musical experience that to him was life-changing. John believed Stevie and Jimmy were two quiet souls who tapped into this alternate existence and he had them to thank for his current sound. In his mind they became otherworldly.
I’ve always wondered if heaven will feel familiar. When we arrive, will it be like walking down our street or eating at our favorite restaurant? I’m not sure, of course, but I can’t imagine it feeling foreign. When we get there, I don’t envision needing an orientation meeting. I doubt Peter is standing at the gates with a clipboard and red double-decker bus, instructing us to board for the four o’clock sight-seeing tour. No, I imagine heaven is familiar. Instead of feeling lost, we recognize the sights and sounds. It will feel like going home.