My Christmas Wish List
I am often asked, “What do you want for Christmas?” by my wife and girls. My typical response is, “I don’t know. I don’t really need anything.” My father used to say this to me when I was young and I could never understand his answer. I used to think, “Who wouldn’t know what they want for Christmas?!” Now I understand. My family is healthy (for the most part), our marriage is happy… what else do I need? A new shirt, tool, or gadget are irrelevant in the big picture.
Last night at dinner time, I came up with a new Christmas wish. After the meal we played our simple game of “Questions”. It’s where I ask any question to my girls and we launch into a fun discussion. I asked them, “What are a few things you are looking forward too in heaven?” It was a lively discussion and it got my mind racing about my new Christmas wish list.
My Christmas Wish List:
1. I want to see my dad again! I know, as a pastor, I am supposed to want to see Jesus first, right? I’m sure Jesus understands because He knows our hearts are tethered to heaven when we have someone waiting for us there. It’s been 20 years since my father, my hero, left my life, our family and this earth. I want to hug him, laugh with him, and most of all, I want to introduce him to his three amazing granddaughters.
2. I want to meet Jesus face to face! I want to see the One I’ve given my life to, spend my life serving, and the One I’ve have had the privilege of teaching about for so many years. I want to see the nail scars in his hands and feet. I want to embrace the One that paid my ransom and penalty of my sin so that I could call heaven my eternal home. I want to be there when at the mention of His name every knee will bend and every tongue confess that Jesus is indeed Lord.
3. I want to begin to truly live! My body is 47 years old and showing all the signs of wear and tear. I am a volunteer basketball coach for my daughters’ high school team. This week I’ve had to come home and ice my knee after practices. This morning my back has a sharp pain between my shoulder blades and my sinuses are acting up again. I look forward to the day in heaven when my body will not show any signs of age! I can’t wait until I’ll be able to run and not get winded and compete to the best of my abilities without the after effects of aches and pains. (Yes, I believe there will be competitions and sporting events in heaven.) It has been said that humans are only using about 10% of our brain potential. Can you imagine having access to 100% of our original physical design? In heaven, we will!
The older I live the more allergic reactions my body has. As of date, I am now allergic to horses, peanuts, chocolate, and caffeine. All of which I love! In heaven, you will find me riding a horse with a candy bar in my mouth and a Dr. Pepper in my hand!
4. I want to live without stress and pressure! Every human lives under the daily weight of stress and pressure of life. Some cope by having an addiction to Starbucks while others medicate themselves in unwise ways. In heaven, there will no longer be financial stress, college tuition to figure out, worrying about your kids choices, frustrating political campaigns, or car repairs you can’t afford.
Lately, I’ve been flirting with being overwhelmed with all the expectations everyone has of me. Unrealistic or not, I feel like I have to be “on” all the time from giving the right answer, responding the right way, providing, protecting, encouraging, inspiring, and on and on. There is also an unspoken expectation of hitting a home run each and every weekend with my sermon. Other teaching pastors know what I’m talking about. In the podcast, online world we live in, I am compared to other rock star communicators each and every week. As soon as one message is done, another good one needs to start. I recently read a pastor describing this as, “It’s like giving birth on Sunday only to find out you’re pregnant on Monday.”
In heaven, you and I will be relieved of the daily grind of stress. Wow! What a relief. We will begin to enjoy living, laughing, working, and creating without the weight of worry, stress, expectations, and pressure from the life we know now.
5. I want to live without an ounce of sin. In heaven, sin will be eradicated. Every trace of sin – gone! You and I have never experienced this in our earthly lifetime. Every one of our thoughts, actions, motives, relationships, conversations, and opinions are laced with sin. In heaven, every one of these will be free from sin. What people say will be true, motives will be pure, opinions will be pride free, and crazy sinful thoughts will never come to mind. Just think – our body will not deteriorate, our mind will not be forgetful, our cynicism will disappear, our earth will not flood, quake, or destroy and the fear of wild animals will be illuminated. The list goes on and on!
We often fail to realize that everything around us is tainted with sin. Heaven will change all of this. In the new heaven and earth we will be free to live eternally without any sinful weight or hindrance whatsoever. I say, bring this on!
So, here is my Christmas list. I am not saying I am yearning to die but I am most definitely yearning to truly live! What would your list look like?