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family saying goodbye at airport

photo by martha g. brady (2011)

After yet another good-bye in a lifetime of good-byes, I was thinking about what good-byes mean to me.  During one of my many waits in the airport today, (yes, I wrote this Christmas Day, Sunday) I had ample opportunity to think of something of substance, rather than walk around with a blank stare and feel like I was in a daze!

The airport at DFW was nearly deserted when we arrived at 5 PM on our flight from Seattle.  This is something I have never seen here.  Talk about Silent Night!  WOW!  They were shutting down shops right and left…well, the shops that were still open.  We decided to eat before they shut the restaurants down as well!  Then we found a cozy nook near our gate that had cushioned chaise lounges to wait for a couple of hours.  It felt good to stretch out and lie down.  Delightful in fact!

Some of the things I find wound tightly around many of my good-byes.

  • “I wish we had more time to spend visiting about heart and soul matters.  What is happening with YOU?”
  • “I regret that we haven’t had more quality time together.  I wish we didn’t live so far apart.  I love the person you are and would love to know your family better.”
  • “I wish we could visit more on x topic.  I would like to learn more about it/discuss it more.”
  • “I wish I were more a part of your world.  Sometimes I feel very relationally inept.”
  • “I am sad that our family is sprinkled so far apart.  I wish things could be different.”
  • “I love being around people who I have known for a long time.  I wish we could be together longer.”

Regret seems to walk hand in hand with “Good-bye”

Yes, there is a common theme.  Regret, lack of time to do the things we want to do when we want to do them.  Being finite.  It reminds me of the time when we will be together one day…at least all of us who are “in Christ”.  There will be no more good-byes!

I realize that our primary concern will be to worship Christ.  I can’t imagine how glorious it will be!  We won’t be distracted.  We will be able to focus on the glory of Christ and appreciation for what He did for us in providing the gift of salvation!

We won’t be distracted by relational issues as we look around us. Relationships will enhance our worship.  We won’t be struggling to push away from our minds the ways in which we fail others.  We won’t be thinking about ways in which others have hurt us…at least from our perspective.   But I’m sure there will be even more to it than that.

There will be more texture to our worship, more depth, more quality!  Imagine the singing as we join with the angels.  The music will always be perfect, even more so than here on earth!  The sounds will be more pure and clear.  There won’t be any harsh sounds or wrong notes hit that cause us to cringe.  There will be no dissonance of any kind…yet it won’t be boring or dull!

In terms of our life.  What will heaven be like?

There will be things for us to do I’m sure.  We will have purpose and creative activities to do in the new heavens and new earth…fortunately!  Can you imagine how boring it would be to sit on a cloud for eternity? There is fulfillment in work, and often joy as well.  Especially if it is the right job. In heaven, we’ll have the perfect job! Even in the garden of Eden, before the Fall, God gave Adam work to do that was creative (naming animals) and purposeful (maintaining the garden).  He just didn’t have the weeds and pests to deal with!

Work wasn’t part of the Fall.  All the impediments were.  Our lack of balance in work: laziness, sloth, workaholism.  These are part of the Fall.  In terms of completing our jobs, relational failures play a large role: inability to get along with co-workers; unwillingness to submit to authority/being too domineering in our authority/lack of balance in our lives/inability to be truthful with one another that often results in gossip, back biting, etc.

So, back to heaven!  Can you imagine it?

  • Working on projects together and never getting in arguments or disagreements that negatively affect relationships?
  • Having conversations together where we don’t have to tiptoe around certain subjects/no gossiping will be happening.
  • Being able to have in depth conversations on important topics where we would have time to finish the conversation and both feel satisfied at the end of it that it had been a good conversation and we had both been heard and been free to express the feeling of our heart.
  • Where human relationships would be enjoyable, fulfilling, mutually beneficial and delightful.
  • Where we could have conversations and work on projects together. Yet the contributions of each person will add the dimension and texture to the project that are needed, while having none of the relational issues that make that possibility on earth a major headache!  Can you imagine the brilliant results of such projects?  WOW!

When I stop to think about what that would be like, it is almost impossible to imagine.

Not only would others do things “right” in relationships, but so would I!  It wouldn’t be like living in the Land of Syrupy Sweet…where you tend to feel like others are less than genuine.  No one would be fake!  We would be genuine AND kind and loving!  There would be no manipulating, or that feeling of being manipulated!  (Something that makes me bristle faster than anything!)

It boggles the mind!  Living with Jesus, in His Kingdom.  Nothing would change…in a good way.  There would be no beautiful days that are suddenly marred by events such as 9/11.  There would be one beautiful day after beautiful day, with no drought.

The glory of God would be present everywhere!  It would be a lovely place where we each would have our own responsibilities, yet they would never be marred by drudgery or boredom.

Satan loves to paint mental pictures for us that mar the truth…thus making them a lie!

One of those is what heaven will be like.  Will we really be like angels sitting on clouds, near boredom with nothing to do?  Will heaven be a boring place where no one will have fun because everyone went there to “retire”.  Is there any evidence in Scripture that this caricature is true?

Heaven: the place where God and all His attributes will be present.

Think of it!  Light. Joy. Peace. Love. Purity. Health.  To name a few.  Some of heaven’s descriptions are best told by what isn’t there.

There is NO

  • Sorrow
  • Death
  • Sadness
  • Fear

What will be there? Think about it!  

What do you think based on what Scripture tells us?  

I love the fact that there will be no more “good-byes” for me in heaven!  Only “Hello’s” and “Welcome’s”.



This post will continue next time with the other side of the story.  It will also be shorter!