Summertime was my favorite growing up in Connecticut. Playing in the woods across the street from the house, eating wild blackberries until my tummy was ready to burst, going to the lake at 7 am for breakfast cooked on mom’s portable Coleman camp stove, playing hide and seek with all the kids in the neighborhood until the street lights came on, catching fireflies, salamanders, and caterpillars and poking holes in jar lids to keep them forever (thanks mom for setting them free when I fell asleep). Every day was an adventure.
Every year, without fail, the third weekend in August meant the Bridgewater Fair. It was a huge weekend in the area. Absolutely EVERYONE went to the fair. It started on Friday night with a huge parade of all the area fire departments that went on forEVER! After the parade, the fair officially opened and there were tractor pulls and ox pulls, and rides, and crazy amazing food, and bands, and crafts, and everything you could ever imagine at a country fair. It was really the peak of the summer. When it was over, everyone started thinking about going back to school and all that.
Mom was a preschool teacher and a single parent of 4. She did not have a whole lot of wiggle room in the budget for tickets to the fair. Every year, without exception, a friend or family member would either take us to the fair and pay for our admission, or give her the money so we could get tickets. We would pile excitedly into the old Plymouth Duster and head over to neighboring Bridgewater for the festivities. Our tickets were purchased and we were in!
The midway? A legendary hot roast beef sandwich? A snow cone? Cotton candy? Oooooo! How about a funnel cake!!? But wait… all of that costs money. And we didn’t have money. So we would wander the fairgrounds, meeting our school friends, smelling the smells, looking at the exhibits, a part of the fair, enjoying the fair, so thankful and excited to be there, but on the fringe and not really able to live the entire experience.
It is kind of like that with heaven. None of us can afford the price of that ticket. It is way out of our reach, no matter the size of our bank account. But that is okay! Jesus bought our ticket! He paid the price of admission so we don’t have to. All we have to do is accept the gift of the ticket and we are in!
What is there to do in heaven? Cloud rides? Banquets? Concerts? I don’t know, but I know that my position for whatever it is will have a cost. And I know that God’s currency is faith. Faith that I “bank” in my lifetime, here, on earth. Every time I step when He tells me to step, every time I speak when He tells me to speak, every time I serve when He tells me to serve, whether it makes sense to me or not, I make a deposit in my Faith Account which is then applied to my relationship with Him and my position when I am with Him.
I do not want to wander around heaven, experiencing it from the fringe not really able to live the experience. I want to be in the middle of it all. I want to be as close to Jesus as I can be. It isn’t enough to just get in the gate. I want to be an active participant in every part of heaven. Getting in the door was all Jesus. The funnel cake is up to me! So I will spend every moment of my time in this life, banking my faith in God’s bank so I don’t have to wander the grounds, watching others participate.
The Bible is full of verses about the rewards God will give us in heaven based on what we do here on earth. It isn’t about salvation, we can’t earn that, no matter how hard we try. It is about what we get to do when we get there! Is just getting in enough? I mean, it is going to be awesome! Being in heaven with our loved ones, seeing friends we have not seen, reuniting with family, but will it be enough to just wander the grounds and soak up the atmosphere without actually participating in the festivities? Will it be enough to be in the room for the wedding banquet without sitting at the table? Not for me! I want to not only sit at the table but be as close to my Savior as I can possibly be.