30 seconds prior…

garden godAnd they heard the sound of God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.  Gen 3:8

A dear friend of ours is suffering as his beloved dog was recently diagnosed with an apparent terminal illness.  Having recently lost a pet, I could relate to his angst.  He pondered whether he would be reunited with his pet, as I am sure most pet lovers have.  He even intimated that it would be a cruel God that would allow admitted murderers into paradise, but restrict access to only His human creations, and leave our loving companions to perish.  Quite a thought, but it rang true and it got me to think about Heaven a bit, as we all tend to do…

I have come to understand that Heaven, or paradise is more a condition than a place.  We grow up imagining all sorts of things about Heaven but almost always it involves a destination.  Like we are in Point A and we want to get to Point B.  And, it certainly is not this place.  But if you consider Heaven as the ultimate condition, one in which we stand (figuratively and literally) in the presence of God, all sorts of things become possible.  And, if we could also agree that Heaven is actually what we were created for, that is, to be in the closest possible union with God, a relationship beyond any understanding we have of parent and child, your mind may even go where mine did………………..Now where would that be, Rob?

Well let me tell you:  It went to a point in time 30 seconds before our first ancestors, commonly referred to as Adam (man) and Eve (life), succumbed to the first temptation and became aware of right and wrong, and most sadly, sin.  So where exactly was that?  It was right where God left us.  Here we are a half a minute before the whole apple incident; newly created universe, new world, all sorts of new creations (evolved or otherwise).  Man and woman, and all of God’s creations in peaceful community with the great I AM – God’s spirit resplendent and ever present in every nook and cranny of the place.  All of our needs attended to, care-free, like small children playing in an endless field bathed in the light of Divine Grace.  Sounds a lot like a place I would call Heaven.  Right?  If you agree, then what God did was not so much create this fallen earth for us, as He did create Heaven for us, right?  Heaven, in that it is where He is.  I mean, if Eve and Adam had zigged instead of zagged and never ran into that God-forsaken ‘snake’, where would they be?  They and all of us would be just where they were all along, from the time they were created, in what God created for all of us when He said, ‘Let there be light!’  Heaven.  Why would He create anything else considering His intentions to commune with His creations? So quick re-cap: God created only one spot for us to be, Heaven, the true Point A.

Consider then that it is we that threw God out of the Heaven He created, and when we did, everything truly heavenly went with Him. And what was left was what we have now: hints of what could have been (think the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen) but now in a condition with decay, death, and darkness – all things that return when God leaves the room…So two final thoughts I am left with:

On its greatest day, earth is but a bare shadow of Heaven, but nonetheless a shadow from which we can begin to understand what we had and what we are headed back to once God re-enters the room.

In the beginning God created a paradise we call Eden, a place where all of God’s creations lived and will again reside, even our very own loving animal companions.

And this is the point at which my head began to hurt…thoughts anyone?

Comments

  1. RT says:

    I understand the value of the now, as much as I can I guess…I get the learning part of our journey and how it provides us with the perspective we need…but the knowledge of good and evil was a game changer. Prior to that moment we were in one state (place?) and afterward another…right? As I said ‘what if’ we had obeyed and stayed clear of that ‘tree’? ‘Where’ would we be now? Or was our disobedience just a part of God’s perfect plan?

    Oh yeah – and what about my friend’s dog? 🙂

    1. Bryan M Trygstad says:

      1. Would we know “Good”?
      2. Romans 11:32 For God has bound everyone over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. ?? Could be.
      3. I guess I haven’t given the “dogs in heaven” much thought and to be honest I really have no idea what it will be like. The bible says there will be no tears, or sorrow, so if something makes us sad, even with our renewed minds, then that issue must be resolved to our satisfaction.

      1. RT says:

        We know God as good….we know He considers all of creation good from His own words.

        I love your dog response …..the issue must be resolved to our satisfaction.

  2. Bryan M Trygstad says:

    We left carnal minded babies and returning spiritual mature beings, THAT was God’s purpose and plan. Prodigal mankind. “We” messed nothing up! We simply are traveling through this life as God intended to learn EVERYTHING!

    1. Robert Tieni says:

      Hi – I thought I might hear from you on this one, my friend…
      I guess the question is: What was the difference between ‘earth’ and ‘heaven’ 30 seconds before we encountered sin?

      1. Bryan says:

        When was that thirty seconds? The “sin” occured well before the actual bite, by Jesus’ standards…and Old Testament, coveting, lust and disobedience in the heart. So when was this point in time in which perfection became imperfect? Can something perfect even become imperfect? God is perfect, His ways are perfect and His PLANS are perfect but we were not created God, but we were created according to God’s perfect plan. Plans have a beginning and an end “and it was good”.

        I guess I don’t think the premiss is workable.

        “Heaven” as most want to think of it, never existed, but it will. It is only after going through this life that our understanding of what heaven is, could be known. No pain, sorrow, lies, hate, disappointment, hunger, loss, grief, brokenness, etc. to infinity. That is the pull we feel in our hearts when we think of heaven, going to LOVE! (God) and we had to learn this. A hard lesson at times but a perfect plan, one that includes everyone!!!!

        1. RT says:

          How’s the weather?

          1. Bryan M Trygstad says:

            It’s been cool but starting to warm up. Got all the potatoes and onions planted. Working on irrigation today.This year I’m going to incorporate a lot of wood chips in the garden as a ground cover to reduce the amount of watering needed, we’ll see how that works. Actually there is a guy who does this and he calls the practice “back to Eden” gardening so that ties in with your post. 🙂

            To your post. I still think that there is no going back and that “back” wasn’t where God wanted us to stay, it was never an option. We were never meant to stay at the beginning. I suppose it could be OK to long for our future home, but it can produce a contempt for the present. Much effort should be placed on appreciating now and working on learning the lessons life brings to perhaps make heaven more heavenly.

            While I believe all will be saved, I also believe there is great reward for life now and in future ages based upon our relationship started here and now.

            So God Bless, bless God and smell the lilacs!

  3. Eddie says:

    I look forward to the day we are united with all the living things we’ve loved and lost on this earth. And I feel part of the accounting we will have to give is how we’ve treated all of God’s creatures during this life.