today, i remembered once having a conversation with my dad about heaven. i was probably six, and he asked me what i thought heaven would be like. i considered it for a moment, then i said, “i think it will be just like being at the lake all the time.”

“what will we do there?”

thinking again, “… we’ll go fishing every day.”

i also thought there would be lots of fudge popsicles.

today, as i was reading ‘don’t waste your life,’ heaven was on my mind again. the childhood anecdote is a funny one, of course, because now i’m sure that i would never, EVER want to go fishing every day for eternity. but it also points to a certain truth that i am beginning to learn in a very real way: my joy is a vital part of what God is all about. especially my eternal joy. even at six years old, i somehow understood that heaven was a place of supreme joy. no more tears. no more pain. and at the time, the greatest joy i understood was found in the moments shared with my father in a little aluminum fishing boat on the still, clear water of Oliver Lake: my favorite place on earth.

it was the peace of those moments when all other cares were forgotten. it was the security of those moments when my father’s great love for me was unquestioned. those were the moments that i never wanted to end. those were a six-year-old’s glimpse into eternity.

of course, i out-grew fishing expeditions, and i out-grew the rose-colored glasses through which i saw my dad. and i found a Father with an even greater love, a perfect love, and i needed no rose-colored glasses to see how wonderful He is, nor did i need fishing expeditions to experience the peace and security of His presence. and having seen His glory in snatches and glimpses, an eternity of fishing with papa bell could hardly compare to an eternity in His presence. because in His presence is the FULLNESS of JOY. and eternal life is that i would know Him, truly and intimately.

no worm-baited fishing poles necessary :)

so i’m looking forward with great expectations to the day when i will see Him face to face, when all the weariness of the world will slip away, when all i will know is pure, complete joy …

… but until then, i’ll keep returning to Oliver Lake. my glimpse of eternity, enough to hold me over until the real deal arrives :D

evening on the dock


most beautiful sunset i've ever seen at the lake

a windy sunset :)

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