Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. –1 John 3:2
As I write this, Emily and her kids have infested my house. Sidney is over on the couch with Olivia playing on the computer. Ira is ratting out our dog, calling her “really naughty” for swiping his brother’s graham cracker. Isa, with a cracker in only one hand, is plodding about the house spreading crumbs, while Isa, the youngest, is cooing to himself in a baby carrier across the room. Emily’s out on the deck swilling coffee with Penny, while that unreliable van of hers sits in front of the house.
At some point before they came over, Emily started the kids getting ready, putting on shoes, strapping them into car-seats, and so forth. For all the kids knew, they were going to Disney World or the grocery store or daddy’s job or California. They just know that despite outnumbering Mom, they have to go when she says go. They rarely know where they’re going, but they don’t seem to care. Mom tends to take them to good places and to attempt to make the dull places as good as they can be.
At what point in our lives do we have to have things all figured out? At what point, when we’re told that we need to drive to New York, do we have to have the route figured out, places to stay the night, places to buy gas, and so on all in our head before we take a step toward the car. Twenty-five years ago, Penny and I traveled across Europe not sure where we’d go next and completely clueless about where we’d stay when we got there. I can’t imagine traveling like that today. I like to have everything figured out when I leave home.
Don’t we do the same thing in thinking about our future in Christ? What will heaven be like? What will we be doing after Christ returns? Will we just be sitting around in heaven singing praises to God? Will it be just like Dante predicts in the Paradiso? I’m guessing that our answers to all of these will be absurdly off base.
But here’s the great thing. We don’t have to know how things will be any more than Emily’s kids have to know where they’re going today. When you trust the driver, you don’t have to know the destination or the route. Our insistence on knowing details God hasn’t revealed to us suggests a limit to our trust in him as the driver. Perhaps that’s the question we truly need to address.