The reason for such haste is that this coming week is the kick-off week for TBI... starting with a picnic on Sunday afternoon at a retreat center, where I will leave Rob for Sunday & Monday nights for his "male bonding time" retreat with all the TBI guys, from which He'll come back on Tuesday evening in time for bed. Wednesday is new student Orientation Day, and Thursday is the first day of classes!
Somewhere in between all this we hope to fit in some breathing, and maybe even some eating, if we're really lucky! ;)
On another note, Rob read me a letter he wrote his grandma right before she died, and it was amazing (perhaps I can convince him to post it on his blog). It made me long for heaven all over again. It's funny, before anyone close to me died, I rarely thought much about heaven... but when my mom's father died in 2004, it awakened a whole level of thoughts and feelings inside me. Every verse I read about heaven, every song I sing that has a line about being with the Lord, and every prayer or sermon that has heaven in its theme is so much more REAL to me now that I know people who are there. And every time another person I love goes there, it makes me want to go all that much more. I mean, really... no more pain or sadness; all mysteries revealed; no more dim sight, instead seeing Him face-to-face?? Yes, please! Not to mention the streets of gold, timelessness (uh, YEAH!), the endless delights that will always thrill us, and being with those who have gone before. As the Gettys so eloquently put it:
"As saints of old still line the way,
Retelling triumphs of His grace,
We hear their calls and hunger for the day
When, with Christ, we stand in glory."
Two of the things I am looking forward to the most are having long, deep, sweet, and even funny, one-on-one talks with Jesus (I imagine sitting side by side in the grass on a warm sunny afternoon, maybe next to a stream, eating grapes and cheese&crackers together), and corporate worship "services" where I'll be part of millions and millions of people singing the most gorgeous songs of all genres, lifting up the Name of the Lord as He sits on His throne.
There's a verse in a song by Derek Webb about the Wedding Feast of the Lamb that touches a place deep inside me every time I sing it. It's a beautiful word picture of how we will enjoy the fullness of redemption in heaven. It's an invitation to finally exchange, for the last time, our "sordid history" for His Body and Blood, and partake of the freedom that they have bought for us:
Because I am My beloved'sYeah!! Who's comin' with me?
And My beloved's Mine;
So, you bring all your history,
I'll bring the bread and wine.
Then we'll have us a party
Where all the drinks are on Me
And as surely as the rising sun
Oh, you will be set free,
Oh, you will be set free!