What do you think heaven will be like?
I'm not asking how you think it will look—streets of gold, pearly gates, all that jazz. How do you think it will feel?
When I was in my twenties, I was part of a counter-cultural church that had about 20 to 30 minutes of free-form worship every Sunday. Anyone could suggest a song. People could even suggest doing a worship dance. (Usually these were celebratory line dances, similar to an Israeli hora.) For the period of time of that worship lasted, I always felt that I was one with a body of other believers adoring God and being lifted out of myself.
Ever since, that has been my primary image of what the experience of being in heaven will be like. It meshes with some medieval conceptions of heaven that use the image of a great rose--all the faithful are like petals circling God and focusing totally on him/her.
However, yesterday, I began to wonder if it won't be more nuanced than just one eternal, never-ending worship session. You see, I started thinking about the experiences here on Earth that make me feel most connected to the divine and the eternal: worship, certainly, but also losing myself in serving a hurting person, doing my creative writing, sketching, meditating, sometimes gardening.
In fact, anytime I lose myself in doing something that is one of the characteristic actions of God (healing, creating, nurturing, etc, etc.), I can get that feeling of being lifted out of time.
So I wonder, will we lose all that in heaven? Doesn't it seem like heaven will lose some of the richness of Earth if we aren't allowed to do that wonderful variety of things? And yet what need will there be for our creativity and service and nurturing in heaven?
Maybe that's why I usually don't think about heaven very much. I don't want to contemplate the idea that it might lack the very things that help give my life meaning now.
So I'm asking all of you:
Do you have an idea about heaven? It can be personal or it can be theological. I'm interested in anything you have to say.