I have just been to heaven.If it wasn’t heaven it was as close as I will get this side of it. I went “Home” to a little town in the middle of nowhere called Wolcott Indiana.
When Kevin Coster’s character, Ray Kinsella, is asked if he is in heaven while standing on a baseball field out in the middle of a corn field in the movie Field of Dreams; he replies in a dry response, “No, it’s Iowa.” This is truly how I felt when I took a few days to load my family up in the van and go “Home” to the place where I grew up.
Home can feel very much like heaven and in some respects and I experienced that feeling when I took several days “Off” from routine last week to go and see my family and just get lost for a bit in familiar faces and places from my past.
Something happens to me out there in that farmland that absolutely stirs everything within me, and as I drove down familiar roads from my childhood I was bombarded with memories. I was almost able to see myself as a young boy pedaling my bike as fast as I could make it go down those cracked roads that blistered in the summer heat. I could hear the tar sticking and slapping from the bike tires back onto the pavement and hear the rustled cries of wind passing through the corn stalks from the endless cornfields that lined the road as I readjusted the B.B gun on my back in preparation for my older brother’s ambush in the bend of road up ahead.
I could almost see my old dog, a German shepherd mix named Lady, who was my staunchest supporter and most trusted confidant while sitting beside me in the field behind our house as the evenings crept into place, just listening to me talk about everything that could find its way onto a young boy’s heart and mind.
G.I.Joes, Ninja Turtles, and army stuff were the consuming part of my life as a boy and it seemed as if there was always some fantasy “bad guy” lurking around our farm that needed my expertly honed ninja skills and homemade weapons to defeat.
Being surrounded by open fields with absolutely nothing but open land as far as the eye could see and in some places without even a phone signal just lifted my spirits to the peak and as I drove I found myself wishing that time would just stop completely for a while and I could stay there.
You hear people compare arriving to heaven in the parallel of a beach or a shoreline surrounding an island type of setting. I see an old road out in the country that leads its way through freshly mowed fields to a brightly lit farm house where my heavenly Dad is waiting on the front porch to meet me.
I think what I enjoyed the most about being in that environment were the many times you could just walk down the road and realize that at exactly that moment, there was not a soul on earth that knew where you were. It was a very powerful feeling to feel so small and for that moment be in the full realization that life was in fact not about you. It seems like this is something that each of us struggle with on a daily basis and the thought that the world revolves around us is one that is so easy to entertain.
We make tend to make everything about us don’t we? Even within the church we do this and I do not believe that it is intentional. I think that it happens just because we struggle with flesh and we are so busy looking for the big giants in our life that we, like the children of Israel, slay the giants in the land but miss the fact that we allow the “Amorites and Hittites and Amalekites of self to live”. We knock out the big name enemies of our walk in the Spirit, but miss the little ones that keep us defeated and in bondage.
I like the way David puts it when he had a little time to reflect on where he stood in relation to the God of the universe.
"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" ~Psalms 8:3-4
How many times did that thought pass through my mind as I walked those roads near our house growing up is beyond me. Just the feeling that God was so big and that I was so small was an amazing feeling.
God referred to that a lot in the Old Testament when dealing with some of His kids. He used the phrase, “When thou wast small in thine own sight…”
I guess today, before it really gets thick out there and all of the distractions hit you as fast and as furious as they no doubt will, I would like to invite you to just take a walk in your mind down a road very much like the one that I have pictured here and just take a minute to remember where you stand before a Holy and all-consuming God. Think about how small you are and how small the things that you face and will face stand next to His amazingly powerful and massive throne. Then stop right where you are walking and remember that He, in all of His majesty and splendor, is MINDFUL of you.
Life isn’t really about you and it really isn’t about me. It is about Him. It always was and it always will be. You and I were created from the very beginning to be in the presence of God. Take some time out on your “walk” and just enjoy being able , through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus, to be in His presence and know that His mind is fixed on you!
Climbing with you,