I am a writer.

This blog has just under a thousand posts.  If my average is five hundred words, then I’m approaching a half-million words that I thought fit to publish.  I have over 26 views per post, on average (people do tend to like my posts on the Porsche 959 and on Mary Jane jokes).

I’m no best-seller, but I’m not doing too bad.  I like the blog format.  It’s like writing a short story.  I can toss interesting things in, and have the resolution already in my mind.  There’s not a lot of research I have to do, not a lot of characters to keep track of, and each entry pretty well stands alone.  I get to put in a neat quirk at the end of each one, if I can think of something snappy.

I couldn’t write a novel.  Story arc, character development, continuity – all too much effort.  I couldn’t hold it all in my head.  When I was in high school, I won the writing award for the Teen Talent contest (not sure of its original name).  The first story I wrote was one I was proud of – it expressed where I was coming from, what I was thinking.  Never made it outside the local church’s reviewers.  It included people in the Vatican sitting around shooting the papal bull, God as a triune computer bank, and the recurring verse

is it, is it,
can it be
a church without
monotony?

I was a radical youth, rebelling against everything.  I didn’t have a good vision of God.  I knew I didn’t like what I saw, but didn’t know what I did want.  When that first thing was rejected, I wrote some sycophantic science fiction short story on a guy blasting around space, discovering God’s glories everywhere.  That thing, which was technically accomplished but not from the heart, won the writing contest for the Upstate New York District Nazarene Teen Talent contest, which was everywhere above New York City.  I still have the trophy in the basement.

But I digress.  That was to show my talents lie in the short story area, rather than in longer forms.  For instance, movie scripts.  Bettie and I watched Field of Dreams on Friday night.  It was the first time either of us had seen the movie, and we enjoyed it.  But I could never write something like that.  Part of it is the length of the script, even if it’s based on a book.  The other part of it is the treatment of heaven.

Ray Kinsella (the flesh-and-blood guy): Is there a heaven?
John Kinsella (his dead father): Oh, yeah.  It’s the place where dreams come true.

I respectfully disagree.  I have many dreams.  Some of them involve food.  I recently found a tiny story I wrote when I was about twelve, where I was rich and occasionally took all my money out of the bank (I think to roll around in it).  The bank manager would worry every time I did that.  I have dreams with Bettie, both public and private.  I have dreams for my church, and for my company, and for my retirement.

None of those dreams are perfect.

Oh, I think that they are.  The perfect meal, the perfect vacation, the perfect car – they can produce heartburn, costs, and upkeep.  Heaven’s not like that.

Heaven is where perfection happens.

Matt 5:48 says

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect

We aim for it down here on earth, but we sure don’t reach it.  1 Cor 13:9-10 says

For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

James 3:2 talks about us down here on earth, putting forth a straw man that he proceeds to demolish later in the chapter:

We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

His implication is that it’s not so.  Matthew 7:21 clearly tells us that it’s not about us and our dreams:

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.

Not our will, not what we want, not the easy way into heaven.  But doing God’s will.

And when we do get there, when we do enter into God’s glory, will it be harps and clouds?  Piles of M&Ms that we can eat without getting fat?  Race cars that make that Porsche 959 look like a pedal car?  Nope.  1 Cor 13:12 says

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

We will know God fully.  We will have the mind of God.  We won’t be God, but we will be in perfect communion with Him.  I think being in God’s presence won’t sanctify those dreams of food and pleasure – somehow they will be replaced.  “I want seconds, please” will be replaced with “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty”.  “I want to win the Superbowl” (or even the Daytona 500) will fly away, with the desire now to hear “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”.

It’s not about me and my dreams.  It’s all about Jesus.