"The only thing I'm going to wish my life away for is Heaven."
I was sitting on the bus with my friend Esther, driving back from our Chiliwack concert. Somehow we got started talking about grad, and she asked me all about how it works and what happens with the candle-passing and on and on. I showed her pictures. I told her what transpires. I tried to convey feelings—both of the juniors and the seniors. And inevitably, I ended up telling her one of my favourite stories.
It's the story of a group of teenagers. A bunch of unkind, drama-affected sophomores who were only slightly more mature the next year. A cliquey junior class of non-leaders, from which hardly a positive influence resulted. Until one day. Or many days. In a journey of ups and downs, of resentful feelings and piercing convictions, of broken then mended friendships, of prayer and effort, of awkward meetings then family time, of laughter and tears, of spider webs and charcoal, of gowns and purple, this once dysfunctional and disunited class became a family, close and tried.
And none of them can take any credit for it whatsoever. It was God working in their individual lives, directing them to make an effort towards a higher standard of friendship, service, unity—of love—that made their class what it was. It was only as God individually refined them in the fire (and trust me, there was fire for each of them), that they drew closer to each other in drawing closer to God. It could only be a miracle. It was only God's grace. God's amazing grace. It's an experience that none of them would trade for anything else.
My friend Esther and I realized all over again the need to savour the time we have where God has placed us. To enjoy our current experience while it still current. Because the phrase, "One day, this too shall pass," unavoidably applies in the good times as well as the hard times. And too often, we don't realize how good the times are until they are past. Thankfully, God taught me this well enough so that I did savour most of my experiences last year. And He is still teaching me to seek and soak up every last drop of joy as it passes by. It's hard when you feel like you're squeezing awful hard, but you'll be glad when you can look back and have no regrets.
I am not going to wish my life away. The future is inviting and exciting. But it will come when it comes, and when it does, it will only be present for a second, and then it will be past. Just think, the present used to be the future that you once looked forward to. And now, 5 seconds after you read that, it became the past. This is how life rolls, no matter how slow or fast we want it to go. Why wish it away and miss the blessing of today—and the privilege of the moment?
There is one thing, though, that I will wish my life away for. I wish I could skip years of my "joyful" life here on earth if it meant being in Heaven with Jesus sooner. Heaven is the only thing I will wish my life away for—the only thing.
I want to go to Heaven, and pick a never fading flower,
From the mountain overlooking the temple of my God.
I want to go to Heaven, where all is light and glory,
How I long to be with Jesus! How I long to be with God!
Some times I think that I could stay here no longer.
I feel very lonely here, for I have seen a better land!
Oh! That I had wings like a dove,
Then would I fly away, and be at rest.