Bob Tamasy: Questions We Wonder About

Sunday, April 27, 2014 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Years ago Art Linkletter hosted a TV show called “House Party,” and the most popular segment was called “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” In this part of his show, Linkletter would ask little kids simple questions, such as “What is the first thing you would do if you were president?” or “When the four-alarm bell rings, what is the first thing a fireman does?” or “How does your daddy help your mom around the house?” And then he would wait for their candid, always touching, and sometimes hilarious responses.

Any of us that have had children, and grandchildren if you’re lucky, know they also like to ask questions. A while back, a father said his young daughter asked him this: “Dada, what type of underwear will we wear when we go to heaven?” Now, isn’t that a question you’ve wondered about yourself? 

Okay, maybe you haven’t been all that concerned over whether we’ll wear Fruit of the Looms or Hanes, boxers or briefs. But don’t you sometimes pause to consider, if there really is a life after this one – and I’m convinced there is – what it will be like?

The theatrical film, “Heaven Is For Real,” has just been released. I haven’t seen it yet, but did read the book by Todd Burpo it’s based on, and if nothing else, it’s provocative. Numerous other books on the same theme have been written, from 90 Minutes in Heaven by Don Piper, a minister, to Proof of Heaven by Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon. While not offering empirical proof, these books drawn from personal experiences are intriguing. 

We’ve all seen artwork of people in heaven reclining on clouds, and cartoons of angelic-looking folks floating around with harps in their hands. Those images might be okay for a brief vacation, but for most of us, if that’s all heaven is about, we’re not sure that would be the way we’d like to spend eternity.

So can we know what heaven will be like? Frankly, I don’t think so. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our ability to understand eternal, spiritual existence is about as limited as trying to explain to an unborn child what life will be like after leaving the womb. It’s impossible, since there’s no frame of reference. 

But that doesn’t mean heaven has to be a complete mystery. The Bible offers a few tidbits, essentially assuring us terrestrials, “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!” The apostle Paul was referring to this when he wrote, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him(1 Corinthians 2:9). In other words, “I’d explain it to you if I could – but there’s no way I can.”

Speaking to His followers, Jesus said, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you…” (John 14:2). He didn’t elaborate – at least the Scriptures don’t tell us that He did – but basically He was offering assurances that someplace very special awaited them. In other words, “Trust Me on this. It’s going to be really cool – much more than you could ever imagine.” 

In the last book of the Bible we read about “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1), a place where pain, sorrow, death and anguish are banished forever. Now that is something to look forward to, isn’t it? “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain; for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4).

We cling desperately to this earthly life because it’s all we know. And I think God wants it to be that way. When it’s our time to go, He’ll let us know. Until then we’re asked to faithfully live the life He expects of us and respond to opportunities He sends our way. But this “blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13) should be something to eagerly anticipate, not fear or dread. The unknown isn’t always a bad thing. 

But what’s it going to be like? What are we going to do? After all, eternity is a long time, right? Maybe that information hasn’t been fully revealed because our finite, human minds couldn’t comprehend it anyway. Kind of like trying to explain Euclidian geometry to a hamster.

Think about it this way: If you book a Caribbean cruise, or a vacation at some exotic location, you might see a travel brochure or two, and read a brief description. But nothing can prepare you for everything you’ll experience once you get there. Heaven’s going to be like that – only much, much more. Millions of times over. Don’t even try doing the math!

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



Pinky Up For Freedom Event Set For July 28 At City Church Chattanooga

A women's tea luncheon, "Pinky Up For Freedom," benefiting Adult & Teen Challenge Midsouth, will be held on Saturday, July 28 at City Church Chattanooga, 7122 Lee Hwy.  Doors open at 11:30 a.m., table viewing and silent auction will be held at 11:45 a.m. and the tea luncheon will begin at 12:30 p.m.  Tickets may be purchased here . (click for more)

Bob Tamasy: I’m With Him

Being a journalist for most of my life has had its perks. Lucrative compensation wasn’t among them, unfortunately, but I did get to go to some interesting places. I had the privilege of meeting the late, highly respected Dr. Richard Halverson in the U.S. Senate Building when he was chaplain of the Senate. I got to go up to an exclusive restaurant atop one of the World Trade Center ... (click for more)

Former City Education Commissioner John P. Franklin Dies

John Porter Franklin, long a leading figure in Chattanooga city government, has died.  He was the city's first, elected black official, post Jim Crow laws, in 1971. Mr. Franklin's father, G.W. Franklin, was a pioneer funeral home director and John Franklin continued in that line. He was first an official in Franklin-Strickland Funeral Home, then he started John P. Franklin ... (click for more)

All School Board Members But Rhonda Thurman Approve Going Ahead With Equity Study

All County School Board members except Rhonda Thurman said Thursday afternoon they are in favor of pushing ahead with an equity study sought by new Supt. Bryan Johnson. Ms. Thurman said she was "tired of bullying tactics by outside groups" such as UnifiEd and Chattanooga 2.0. She said the 132 people who signed a letter in support of the study include people "with deep pockets" ... (click for more)

The Boss, Claude Ramsey

I try not to overuse the word great, but we lost a great man today, Claude Ramsey. I had the pleasure of serving under him as director of Commercial and Industrial Properties for 14 years while he was the Hamilton County Assessor of Property. He was probably the smartest person I have ever known. He was tough but patient, kind, caring and compassionate. He knew how to get ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Not A Blessed One

When I read, to no great surprise, that 132 of Chattanooga’s “leaders” had signed a letter in support of “socioeconomic integration” in Thursday’s Times Free Press, there were two things that were immediately obvious to me: Not a blessed one would have (a) written such a letter on their personal stationery, and (b) not a blessed one would have ever voted for the current president ... (click for more)