Visions of Heaven


The Future

I stood in the main court of heaven, before God, taking in my surroundings, the creatures standing before him.  But that’s for another day.  I felt prompted to continue where we left off the day before.

“How much of the future do you really know?”  I asked.

“I know people’s hearts and what’s in their minds.  I know how they’ve responded in certain situations in the past, and what they’re focused on right now.  I can see what computers are calculating and what timers are set to.  I can predict using all those factors the probability of what will happen in the short term with a great degree of accuracy.  In the longer term, it can be less accurate.

“To make something come to pass, one either has to forcibly make someone do something or manipulate the situation to produce the desired outcome.  I have done both at times, but prefer to let each person have as much freedom of choice as possible.  Without freedom of choice neither one of us can learn from the outcome.”

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Hope

“I know all things,” God said to me.

“How can you know all things when it seems like you don’t know when a traffic light is going to turn red?”

He patiently waits for me to continue.

“When I’m out driving, you tell me to keep going when I see a green light, but then the light turns red before I get to it and I have to stop.”

“What would happen if I told you the light was going to turn red?”

“I would quit trying to get there so fast – I’d take my foot off the pedal and coast.  It would save energy.”  I was trying to think of practical reasons why he should tell me the future.

“How do you feel about it?  What happens to hope?”

“I would lose hope of making the light, and that in turn would make me feel like I’m going to be late.”

“When the light does turn red, and you are sitting at it, how do you feel?  What happens to hope then?”

I had to think about that a moment.  “Well I have a different kind of hope.  I know the light is going to turn green, but I don’t know exactly when.  I just know it’s going to eventually turn green.”

“Which hope makes you feel the best?”

“I feel more motivated when I see that I can reach a goal in front of me – I see the green light and going through the intersection before it turns red gives me a goal I can see.  Sitting at a red light, I can’t see the goal, I only know it’s coming.”

God smiles warmly at me.  “I want you to have the hope that makes you feel the best – the one that keeps you going.”