Business class and the hope of heaven

Last week it happened:  upgraded to business class for a nine hour flight across the Atlantic. Wonderful seats -- fifteen or twenty different adjustment points, enough legroom that my feet only gently contacted the edge of my own space, I could even lie almost flat if I wanted to sleep. A personal video screen probably larger than the screen of my laptop, and fully touch sensitive as well. A four course meal, or should I say five course? The ice cream sundae and the fruit and cheese were served all together, but wouldn't that count as more than one course?

Around the sixth or seventh hour, I still felt as enchanted as when we'd started, and I even felt a mild regret that the flight was not longer. This morning it is still pleasant to remember -- I think of C. S. Lewis' comment that the great desire we have for things to go on forever in our lives shows that we were meant for something more than a temporal, limited life. This pleasure suggests I was not meant to be jammed into a narrow seat row for hours at a time -- what a startling thought!

This could be my favorite air travel story for years to come. It is a story that does not center around conflict, like most stories do in our world. Should there a literary genre of people experiencing conditions so much better than they are used to, and celebrating this? Is this the stories we shall experience in heaven?

But really heaven is not about comfort or architecture (as impressive as those may be). It is primarily about seeing God. The intangible God hidden from view. God with us, yes, but it requires our faith, our ability to cling to a truth despite what our immediate perceptions would tell us. In heaven, faith will become sight. Then we shall see him face to face, and when he appears we will be like him.

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