In first grade, Miss Denhollander would sometimes have us play a geography globe game where one student would challenge another to find a geographical feature on our classroom’s globe. I think it could be a state, a country, an ocean – pretty much anything you could find on a standard globe (this ruled out “Oompa Loompa Land”). I also think it was supposed to be a place the challengee themselves could locate (so “Bahrain” probably would also not have been a valid option either).
Underneath my “good boy/teacher’s pet” veneer, I had a dose of “smug, little brat” running through my six-year old veins. While not the most annoying kid in the world, I did my share of attention and affirmation seeking through precocious attempts to look smarter than I actually was. I loved the geography globe game because it gave me a chance to knock everyone’s socks off by demonstrating my mastery of Map Skills (the geography workbooks we used).
One Monday morning in class while we were playing the globe game, with an air of triumphalism, I asked (no, defied!) my peer (I think it was either Natasha or Rachel) to locate “Paradise” on our little blue spinning globe.
[Dim Lights, Cue dramatic music] The room grew silent. Natasha or Rachel’s knees began to knock and the lip quivering soon followed. I waited in anticipation, hoping
the audience my classmates, the other six year olds, would acknowledge my brilliance before my bluff was called, for I had no idea where this Paradise-place was, having only heard about it the night before while watching a made-for-TV movie at my grandmother’s Druid Lake cottage (some cheesy-dialogue+rugged-hero+cute-teenager+ABC-produced Sunday night feature). The eyes of the room moved in unison from Natasha or Rachel to Miss Den and back again to Natasha or Rachel.
Would Natasha or Rachel be able to find this place?
Would Miss Den call my bluff?
[Return to reality] No, and yes.
“I don’t know where that is.”
“That’s okay, you won’t find that on the globe. David, do you know where [or what] Paradise is?”
[Cue crickets and squirming]
“Paradise is not on a globe because Paradise is Heaven with God.”
Oh… [End flashback]
There has been a lot of fascination and speculation lately about heaven and hell in books, blogs, and mainstream media.
A lot of great questions are being asked. Who? questions and What? questions and When? questions.
Who will experience heaven? Who will experience hell? Who knows?
What is heaven? Where is heaven? When is heaven?
What say you? Should we take some time and explore some of these questions to the best of our ability and see what we come up with?
I say we shall. Let’s take the time, explore the questions, and see what comes of it.