Joy Without Time

What a busy weekend! I had my 12-year-old twin brothers over while my dad and stepmom went away for their anniversary. Add them to my three kids, a first grade class poetry reading, school dance, baseball game, and a surprise 30th birthday party for my sister, and this housewife theologian's brain has expired. But my dad's trip has me even more excited about my own upcoming anniversary and weekend away. Matt and I will be celebrating our 15th in about a month (and high-tailing it out of here for the weekend even sooner). I just loved the reflecting I did last year after my trip, so I thought I would re-post. Hope you enjoy reading it for the first time, or as a rerun! June 27th marks my husband Matt and I’s 14th wedding anniversary.  For the 3rd year in a row, we celebrated with a weekend B&B stay in Solomon’s Island, Maryland.  For those of you unfamiliar with Solomon’s, it is a simple little town with an area of less than 2 miles of land where the Patuxent River and the Chesapeake Bay meet.  That’s what we love about it.  It’s a place for us to get away from our busyness, and just wander around.  Basically, the best part is waking up and saying, “What do you want to do today?”  We already know the answer to that question. We wake up to the most delicious breakfast prepared by our fabulous, hippie-like host Amanda (who was trained at La Cordon Bleu in Paris, as well as the Culinary Institute in NY).  Then we wander the streets and several shops for a while before our bike ride.  Once we hop on our bikes, our goal is to find the other side of the river while checking out all the local houses.  This time we found an unfinished road that made the ride interesting.  We grab some lunch and then walk over to the notorious Tiki Bar to mingle with bikers, mariners, middle-agers, and barely 21-year-olds.  It’s an eclectic bunch.  After cruising over to the pool for a while, we walk on over to our favorite place for dinner.  It’s not the restaurant on the pier that attracts most tourists.  This place doesn’t have the greatest atmosphere, but has the best food by far.  Every time we leave, I am convinced I had the best dinner of my life.  On our walk back to The Blue Heron, Matt stops for a snow cone while I’m clutching my Styrofoam to-go box with a fabulous secret inside—chocolate canoli cake.  I indulge myself in chocolate bliss while we sit on the balcony watching all the boats at night. I’m convinced the Lord makes that day longer for us.  It feels so good to get away from the ordinary and celebrate my marriage with my husband.  Removed from our scheduled demands, we just take pleasure in being together.  Turns out I still really like hanging out with him.  And now that I’m back home with the memory, the analogies come flooding… I’m thinking of that day when our Great Husband gathers his bride for our new home.  The mystery of the new heavens and the new earth occupies our imaginations as we serve and enjoy this earth now knowing two things: 1) God created it and called it good, and, 2) It has been horribly corrupted by sin.  As we groan with creation for our glorification in resurrected bodies on a new, heavenly earth, time is both a friend and an enemy.  It is our friend in its sign towards God’s patience with us.  And hey, we all have moments that we DO want to come to an end.  But we are always fighting time.  Our bodies’ age, we miss deadlines, and that alarm clock (or 3rd born child) is so unforgiving. Spending the weekend away with my husband made me think of the joy we will have in heaven with our Great Husband.  Imagine joy in eternity--joy without time to end it.  Sure, our purpose now is to glorify God and enjoy him forever; but we will perfectly be able to do this in the age to come.  This joy will be untainted by sin, shared by bikers and mariners and housewives.  Jesus frequently mentioned a great heavenly feast being prepared for his bride.  Will there be chocolate canoli cake?  I can’t say, but it will be the best dinner I ever ate.  And so will the one after that… But just like my trip with Matt, the blessing won’t be the meal, or even our new heavenly home.  Jesus Christ is the blessing, and he will have finally come, in perfect time, for his bride.  Imagine serving in the moment, being able to worship our Creator and Redeemer without an end—WITHOUT AN END! Solomon’s is nothing like heaven.  Or maybe it is a little.  It certainly bears a lover’s name.  Anyway, as Matt and I were leaning against the rail of the boardwalk, watching a wave from a speedboat crash into the rocks, I told him, “If I ever die, I want you to remarry—but don’t ever take her here!”  Solomon’s is our place. Jesus is now preparing a place for his bride.  And I can’t wait to go there.