Will there be adventures in heaven?

(Robert Anderson) #1

Do you think there will be adventure in Heaven? If so, what would that look like? Adventure requires that the risks and rewards be real, otherwise its not really an adventure. What sort of story would Lord of the Rings be if it didn’t matter one way or the other if the ring was never destroyed? So what types of risks and rewards would Heavenly adventures entail?

Just thinking out loud and wanted to hear what you all had to say.

(SeanO) #2

@rla9316 Ah, but why do we like adventures? What is the point of an adventure? We like adventures because in our hearts we desire something exhilarating and we desire something to give our lives meaning. Adventures make us feel alive and they restore to us a sense of order in a disordered and chaotic world (as Jordan Peterson would say). Adventures awaken within us a desire to do good - to change the world - to risk everything for something worth risking everything for - to save the princess, to save the world, to save our family. That is why we love happy endings at the end of a harrowing adventure - we want that sense of identity; that sense of order and closure and excitement.

On a more fundamental level - we long for something we do not have or have lost. We long for the Garden of Eden where God walked with mankind - we long for paradise where mankind is restored to God. C. S. Lewis put it this way:

“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” C. S. Lewis

Adventures are a temporary fix to a deeper problem - we long for another world! We were created for God and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Him. And yet, in this world, the Bible is clear that even we who have the Spirit still groan to be restored fully to the New Creation where God is our Light. The place where the joy we glimpse in this world dimly as in a mirror is received face to face in glory forevermore!

Romans 8:22-25 - We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

My tentative answer: No, there is not adventure by the strict dictionary definition in Heaven - there is something better - much, much better! A new world - a new creation - the garden of God - paradise. I believe that we will have fruitful labor to do there - that there will be culture and cities and all manner of things to enjoy and do - but all apart from the sin and brokenness and yes, danger, of this fallen land.

Here are some quotes from C. S. Lewis regarding Heaven where I think he really captures the joy of finally being in God’s new creation.

Quote from “The Last Battle”

It is as hard to explain how this sunlit land was different from the old Narnia as it would be to tell you how the fruits of that country taste. Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass. And as you turned away from the window you suddenly caught sight of that sea or that valley, all over again, in the looking glass. And the sea in the mirror, or the valley in the mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones: yet at the same time there were somehow different — deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know.

The difference between the old Narnia and the new Narnia was like that. The new one was a deeper country: every rock and flower and blade of grass looked as if it meant more. I can’t describe it any better than that: if ever you get there you will know what I mean.

It was the Unicorn who summed up what everyone was feeling. He stamped his right fore-hoof on the ground and neighed, and then he cried:

“I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that is sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!”

Quote from “Letters to Malcolm”

“I do not think that the life of Heaven bears any analogy to play or dance in respect of frivolity. I do think that while we are in this ‘valley of tears,’ cursed with labour, hemmed round with necessities, tripped up with frustrations, doomed to perpetual plannings, puzzlings, and anxieties, certain qualities that must belong to the celestial condition have no chance to get through, can project no image of themselves, except in activities which, for us here and now, are frivolous.

For surely we must suppose the life of the blessed to be an end in itself, indeed The End: to be utterly spontaneous; to be the complete reconciliation of boundless freedom with order–with the most delicately adjusted, supple, intricate, and beautiful order?

How can you find any image of this in the ‘serious’ activities either of our natural or of our (present) spiritual life? Either in our precarious and heart-broken affections or in the Way which is always, in some degree, a via crucis ?

No, Malcolm. It is only in our ‘hours-off,’ only in our moments of permitted festivity, that we find an analogy. Dance and game are frivolous, unimportant down here; for ‘down here’ is not their natural place. Here, they are a moment’s rest from the life we were place here to live.

But in this world everything is upside down. That which , if it could be prolonged here, would be a truancy, is likest that which in a better country is the End of ends. Joy is the serious business of Heaven.”

–C.S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer (San Diego: Harvest, 1964), 92-93.

(Kathleen) #3

Hi, guys!
@rla9316, thanks for the interesting question! I love adventure, but I’d never thought about it in the context of heaven. And, @SeanO, as always, thank you for your thoughtful response!

One aspect of adventure that I wanted to comment on was that of making the unknown known. What was it that motivated early explorers? Aside from the desire for riches and/or fame/respect, I imagine part of it was an adventurous spirit that craved seeing/learning/experiencing new things. It was the unknown of it all that called to them.

Jon Acuff is a guy who has written a good bit on adventure, and one of his thoughts really resonated with me:

Journeys where the outcome is already known are not adventures; they’re errands. And you were created to do more than run errands.

So maybe, if we think about it in the context of heaven, the adventures would be less about risk/reward and more about the rewarding journey of curiosity? I imagine that in heaven there would be no risk because there would be nothing to lose; we would not be in danger. But maybe there will still be plenty to do and learn? And if there are things to learn, then, in my mind, there’s adventure. :slight_smile:

(Robert Anderson) #4

Thanks for the awesome responses! A lot to think about for sure.

Maybe it’s not so much danger that creates adventure but mystery. I feel like even in paradise we would require mystery. If we somehow became all knowing or the world around us became totally lucid, then everything would just turn into a dead piece of clockwork while our minds were alive and wild. To me the result would be insanity. But I’m sure being eternally in the presence of God is plenty mysterious!

(SeanO) #5

@rla9316 Yes, I don’t expect to ever be all knowing. I look forward to an eternity of learning about God and many other things as well I expect. Further up and further in!

(Matt Western) #6

Think of what we enjoy here on earth - we are social ‘creatures’ and enjoy knowing and being known of those we care about deeply. I wonder if that isn’t the deepest longing of a lot of us, the exact opposite of being lonely. We only have a capacity here on earth to have a few deep relationships due to time and work constraints, and even then those can be difficult because we still have a sinful nature.

Imagine in heaven being able to talk about ‘the good old days of what God has done in our lives’ with Moses, King David, Martin Luther, and as an example of a couple of ‘giants of the faith’ - i wonder if we’ll have any interesting stories to tell them? hopefully we do something of eternal worth ourselves and will have something worth sharing… :slight_smile: