I spent some time on a plane recently. There a few better examples of man’s inhumanity to man than whomever designed the airplane seat.
I do kind of like airports though. I like watching the people, little kids especially. I saw a little girl who had hand drawn her ID. She put it in a little pouch around her neck with a copy of her boarding pass. Thankfully, the man at the gate played along and checked her ID and made a show of it when she and her mom got to security.
I was waiting at my own gate while a plane was emptying. A woman came out of the door holding the hand of a kid who looked to be about five or six years old. He stepped out into the concourse, his eyes got real wide and he said, “MOM, Is this their house???”
I don’t know where he was going or where he was coming from. I’m guessing “mom” had said, “We’re flying to grandma’s house.” Apparently it didn’t occur the the kid that they’d land at the airport and THEN go to grandma’s house. He thought THIS was grandma’s place. Coooool. I saw the Tom Hanks movie about the guy who lived in an airport. I’ve slept in more than one airport in my life and don’t care to do it again. I don’t mind a layover. There’s always cool things to see and people to talk to.
I have a friend who travels A LOT. Whenever he has to travel he will go to the airport news stand and buy a magazine that he has NO interest in whatsoever. It might be Modern Knitting or Horse Enthusiast. He’ll read it cover to cover on the plane ride. He said it’s surprising what you can learn and even more surprising how often something he learned from one of those magazines will come up in conversation.
I’ve been thinking about the “Is this their house” kid. I wonder what the arrival into heaven is going to be like. What’s it like at the end of the chute? Let’s accept the whole flying-into-the-light-thing at the moment of death AND the eternity-with-God thing. But what about that moment AFTER death and before the eternity? What is it like to arrive in heaven? I want to believe it’s like the Welcome to Florida Station in Jacksonville. Shooting down interstate 71 and cruising into FLA. You stop in Jacksonville. You get a glass of cold Florida orange juice. You scan the racks and racks of brochures for every possible tourist attraction. My brother and I would grab 20 or 30 of these when we were little kids. We’d save them and then trade them. Never WENT to any of them but they were fun to read in the car.
Some people expect the big line outside the gate and then St Peter checks your name off the list. I hope that’s not it. I want the juice. I want a display window that looks out onto the Milky Way. I want a brochure to a speedboat ride around Saturn’s rings.
And I want to know what’s beyond there....
Sometimes when someone in your life dies the best thing you can do is something completely normal. Bake bread. Get a haircut. Wash the car. Life has become something utterly abnormal...doing something normal helps. Heaven is going to be so far beyond our comprehension we can’t conceive of it now. It isn’t possible to understand all that heaven is with the minds we have. We can’t do it.
That’s why the Welcome to Heaven Rest Stop is necessary. I hope it’s there. I hope they have vending machines with vintage candy and it’s all free.
What’s beyond? Won’t know till we get there.