On my way home there is a spot on the highway where, if the sun is setting and it’s in exactly the right spot, the brilliance of the rays captures my attention and inspires me to think of heaven.
One day it was lightly raining when I was approaching this spot and I wished I had a camera in my car to capture the image. It was sunny, rainy and hazy all at once (like potential rainbow kind of weather). When my car began to go further into the yellowy haze, I felt momentarily engulfed. For a brief second, I was scared. Then I was not. Then, I was in awe. I wondered is this what the entrance to heaven may be like? The experience lasted less than one minute. But I can bring it up in my mind anytime and I often do.
I grew up hearing about heaven and hell in church. My take on religion when I was a child and later into adulthood was that you either behaved or you were done for. God was the big police officer in the sky.
Thankfully, I no longer believe in a punishing God. I believe in a loving, forgiving God and a God with an occasional great sense of humor. My current views of heaven therefore, can involve some silly stuff. I’ll save some of my thoughts for another blog post, but today I want to share with you my absolute favorite idea of what heaven could be.
My favorite idea of heaven is that of endless potatoes. Yes, you read correctly- potatoes. Potatoes in every way shape or form. Crispy french fries with melted cheese and crumbled bacon on them. Mashed yukon gold potatoes with lots of butter and maybe some roasted garlic cloves smashed into them. Baked potatoes with lots of butter and sour cream. Even sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar.
Get the idea? And, of course none of these would contain any calories whatsoever. I would just eat and eat to my heart’s potato content and none of my potato feasts would show up anywhere on my stomach or thighs!
When I am with potatoes, nothing else really matters but the potatoes. Meat be gone! Salad….for bunnies! I love potatoes! Hopefully, when I walk through those pearly gates, God will be standing there with a big plate of yes, cheesy potatoes!
The holidays are over and the January darkness has really settled in. Thank God there have been some sunny days or I would really be going crazy. And, as if a great gift was bestowed upon us all, the moon last night was so gorgeous, so full and bright, its long stream of light running down as if to the ground. It was mesmerizing.
Winter darkness pushes me to think about the light and how it has the power to transform me into a person of less worry. When I think of Grace, I think of the light. If I am worried about a problem or situation, bringing it out into the light can help it lose some serious steam.
When I am scared or have a situation in which I don’t know what to do, calling on Grace works. My innermost fears can eat me from the inside out and they can be dangerous stuff. Believing in the light enables me to pull out my fears, one by one, look at them and realize their root. When I take my time and slowly work through them, these fears turn into fearless blips on the radar of my life.
The light can fill me with hope, comfort and warmth. Thank goodness it’s free for the taking. When I wrap myself in the glow, I feel protected and calm. Life seems less hurried and less intense.
How was your New Year’s? I spent mine differently this year. Usually I stay home with my significant other, have something special to eat then either go to bed early or watch the ball drop, then go to bed.
I belong to a church that had a New Year’s dance this year so I knew I had to go and support it. My mom wanted to come as did two other couples we know via the sobriety community.
We had a wonderful time. It is amazing how truly possible it is to have a good time without alcoholic beverages. The food was good, the music was great and it felt magical to be out celebrating a holiday with so many other people.
Two other moments happened on New Year’s Eve day. First, I sent a text to my husband about a friend of ours and in less than a minute, the friend just happened to call me. In another moment, I walked to my mailbox (it is down abit on our road) and while there, I saw my nephew about to leave for a three week journey to another country. I ran to give him a hug and kiss and wish him safe travels.
These small moments mean something very big to me. The timing of them suggests a spiritual connectedness. It makes me wonder: if I was less distracted by minor concerns, would I notice more opportunities that I may be currently missing? Could I be led along a more meaningful path if only I paid a bit more attention?
I am always searching for a deeper relationship with God and to my fellow human beings. Experimenting with different acts of loving kindness, surrounding myself with people who are also striving for meaningful relationships, and trying to live a less ME- centered life may make this happen.
In 2012, my goal is to slow down and listen for direction instead of forcing it. Who knows where I may end up? Happy New Year to you!