Yesterday at Mass, the homily was about how death is not an ending, but a continuation. And suddenly I viewed eternity in such a different way.
I’ve always imagined my earth life and my heaven life as completely sectioned off from each other, completely separate entities. If I think of earth from a heaven perspective, the memories look so far away, and even insignificant. I always imagined that everything I care about now will lose its importance when I get to heaven.
If I care about things that aren’t important, I won’t care about them in heaven because I’ll need to be cleansed of worthless attachments before I get there. But the things that make me me at my core, the me that God made–that’s not going to stop. C.S. Lewis describes heaven as being where we become most fully ourselves. I won’t end and begin again as a different version of myself. I’ll be more myself. And I suddenly realized how much my life here and now matters. Not just because this is the time I’m given to accept or decline God’s gift of salvation and get into heaven or not. This is not just a diving board into the pool of eternity. I am already in it.
Which means so many things. Perhaps the greatest is how present God already is to me. This isn’t news, but thinking of my current connection with Him in light of not waiting for eternity, but being in it already, helps me to realize anew His intimacy with me.
It’s obviously not the same now as it will be. Now I’m trapped in a timeline; I won’t be then. Living here is not at all as it will be there. But it counts, in ways far beyond what we normally ponder.