Good day, all.
I’m 28 today. Twenty-eight. Today. Funny, thirty is starting to sound quite young lately. Birthdays are interesting; somewhere between 23 or 24 and 27 or 28 one seems to start looking at birthdays differently, especially females. It used to be that we all looked forward to “being 18,” or our 21st birthday (for obvious reasons.) But after that, birthdays are pared down to one thing: the inevitable march toward Middle Age and Beyond.
We were talking about this the other night, and I expressed how aging doesn’t really bother me; and it doesn’t. I attribute this to the fact that I’m the most happy I’ve ever been in my life. I certainly wouldn’t go back to being 21, or (God, help me) 18. What strikes me is how very quickly these happy years are passing, and I try to find ways of simply slowing them down. This is, of course, impossible. But, without going into a long diatribe about America’s (and probably, most of the developed world’s) fascination of being young, hot, and/or sexy at any age, it seems to always be in the forefront of modern American life. (Sidenote: I don’t think I want to be “sexy” at 60. It seems wrong.) And sometimes I try to fast forward to the day I’m seventy or, God-willing, eighty, and try to imagine how my outlook on this earthly life would be different. And it would be different. It shouldn’t be; we’re all supposed to “act like each day were our last,” to use the tired cliche.
Anyway, I’m rambling. I think what I’m trying to get at, in my long, convoluted, roundabout, tangential way, is that our time spent on this earth is finite. We should all be yearning for heaven. This is something, I confess, I have a hard time doing. Of course I want to be in heaven someday…just not today. I’m incredibly content right here, thank you very much.
I remember asking Fr. Tom about this, and he explained it to me very well. He said to imagine being a baby in the womb. That baby is perfectly happy; all his needs are being taken care of. He is warm, well-fed, comforted, and protected. If one had a way to ask that baby if he would like to leave his soft, dark, comfortable surroundings for life on the outside, that baby would probably have a really hard time saying yes. (Because he cannot talk, I know, shut-up.) Leave this great place for a cold, bright, harsh world? No way. Of course, none of us would ever choose to go back to the womb.
So, that’s a really helpful way for me to think about heaven. Hopefully I’ll get there someday.