This book is a field guide to Heaven. It provides directions on how to reach Heaven and gives description of some of the many beautiful things that Heaven is. The main purpose of this guide is to help people recognize Heaven and to be excited about the possibilities of endless life in it.
Most versions of Heaven are comprised of ideas and images from human history, literature and experience. Those versions fail to reveal the scope, the height, the depth of what Heaven is. A good place to start to understand Heaven is with the realization that we are already in Heaven, with an acceptance that most of us have a limited ability to recognize it. What we see instead is the world created by each of us, by all of us in our daily activity that we call history.
We are by our nature committed to the world as we know it. This reality reflects both our strength and our weakness as human beings. We have the power given to us by the loving God to create, to make real our world. We however lack the humility to accept that our world is only part of God’s creation. We are compelled by our own creation and vision of the world and stubbornly fail to look beyond it. God loves us for our creative activity and vision, and for our stubborness. Holding on to what we see and know is the essential power that defines us as partners with God. God calls us to share in the action of building the world. God also understands that it is hard for us to see outside our personal worlds. Much of God’s activity in human history has involved helping us to see beyond the world as we know it.
We often ask the question, “How do we get to Heaven?”
We don’t actually get to Heaven because we are already there. We are inside Heaven. It surrounds us, but we each have to mature to see and recognize it. We have to grow to understand how who we are, what we’ve done, and where we live fits into Heaven. Each of our worlds, created by us, our families, and our communities, by history are destinations in Heaven. New places in Heaven are always being made and discovered. Being part of this creation is our inheritance from the loving God.
Heaven is basically in the direction of our moving to God or in the direction of God moving toward us. This field guide hopes to show us How to move in those directions and navigate the many wonderful paths that we can follow.
Keeping the Context
The basic context of this field guide is that the one God needs space to be in loving relationship with all of creation. This guide is not a treatise on the nature of the one God. People with many different ideas and images of God find their way to Heaven. In fact one of the big rooms of Heaven is like a large sitting room. If you look around the sitting room, you see many different images of the one God meeting and talking to many people. All the images represent a truth about God, but part of the fun of Heaven is that no ever totally knows God. Every moment, in Heaven reveals more about the true nature of God.
The path to Heaven is found by individuals loving God, themselves, and others. Even people, who are unclear about God, but love themselves and love others can find their way there. They will just be surprised like the rest of us to see God as God is.
My knowledge of God leads me to believe in the Trinity. For me, Heaven has to have space for the 3 Persons of God to be in loving relationship with each other. My experience shapes my understanding of Heaven, but this guide doesn’t demand that you see it my way. To travel through Heaven, however, you have to accept that Heaven is always being created and has endless places and possibilities that allow the one God to be in loving relationship with all that has been created.
Heaven is eternal because the ways of God being in loving relationship are endless. One creation leads to another loving relationship to another creation and on and on throughout eternity. No end to the potential ways for God to be in love can ever be reached.