22 February 2008

Friday Five: Heavenly

What is your idea of a heavenly (i.e. wonderful and perfect):

1. Family get-together
This one is actually a memory more than a hope: I remember a Johnson family reunion when I was young, probably six or seven years old. We met in the park in my hometown of Wakefield, Nebraska, and in my memory there's like a hundred people there. We lived a mile away from the farm where my Grandpa Johnson was raised, and his brother and sister both stayed close when they got married themselves. So we knew our cousins really well when we were growing up. Anyway, this family reunion was wonderful: everyone was there, we had tons of food to eat (including a big pile of fried chicken) and we ran and played games all afternoon. Everyone laughed and enjoyed each others' company - I'm hoping someday we can do it again.

2. Song or musical piece
Hmmmm - what to choose. Here's a few:
a. Symphony #1: Lord of the Rings by Johan de Meij
b. Heaven Is Waiting by Rich Mullins & Mitch McVicker
c. Hold Me, Jesus by Rich Mullins
d. Day By Day - a hymn by Lena Sandell
e. Jesus of Suburbia by Green Day
f. Symphony #5: From the New World by Antonin Dvorak
g. Symphony #4 by David Maslanka
h. Tom Sawyer by Rush
i. Peace of Mind by Boston
j. One Voice by the Wailin' Jennys
k. Steady On by Storyhill
These are all songs/musical works that have just made my heart jump upon hearing them, even to the hundredth time. I know the array of choices is wide, especially when you throw in Green Day and Rush, but hey, it's my heavenly music, right?

3. Gift
A new set of Callaway golf clubs would be heavenly, for sure - the FT-i neutral driver, Fusion Woods and, oh, why not the X-18 irons & wedges. Because, you know, it's all about the clubs, not the guy holding them. :-)

4. You choose whatever you like-food, pair of shoes, vacation, house, or something else. Just tell us what it is and what a heavenly version of it would be.
Let's do a heavenly Grandma's Marathon, shall we? First, I'll sleep well in my friend J's parents' house, something I never do in a strange bed. Then we'll rise early and I'll have a nice cuppa joe or two, a bagel with organic peanut butter and orange marmalade, and a banana that's at the perfect ripeness. Top it off with one more cup of coffee on our way out to Two Harbors, MN for the start of the race. The mist is breaking off of Lake Superior and the temperature is in the low 50s, where it will stay for the majority of the day because of the light northern breeze at our backs. We cross the starting line after most of the elite runners are gone, and wonder of wonders, everyone has managed to line up in their pace groups so we aren't a) dodging walkers in the first two miles and b) getting run down by the fat guy with all the tech gear who started at the back so he could pass everyone & feel awesome at others' expense. We hit all our pace goals with good effort, and even though my calves are really starting to scream by mile 20, the wall is nowhere in sight as we roll into Duluth. Then it's down to the harbor and across the finish line in 3:50:00 or better, breaking my goal of 4 hours and setting me on a course to try for Boston in a year or two. We top off the day with great food, great beer and a lot of fun with all our friends who have traveled with us to Duluth, then we spend a couple of days hiking on the North Shore before heading back home. Yeah, that'll do.

5. And for a serious moment, or what would you like your entrance into the next life to be like? What, from your vantage point now, would make Heaven "heavenly?"
Realizing that the promise of Christ was true - heaven has been waiting all along, and the journey home was about serving others, not earning the place that was given at Baptism. Seeing my Grandma & Grandpa Johnson and my Grandpa Janke, along with other family and friends who've gone before. Beyond that, it's too wonderful for words - I'll just trust that the Creator knows what He's doing and I'll love it when I get there.


  1. tom sawyer? uhm... okay. i'm thinking 3 cups of joe beforehand is alot... too much dehyrdation. maybe 1 cup of joe cuz you have to wake up and all, then water, water, water...

    there is sooo gonna be fried chicken in heaven - the kind that grandmas make.

  2. "Realizing that the promise of Christ was true - heaven has been waiting all along, and the journey home was about serving others, not earning the place that was given at Baptism."


  3. oh, I love some of your song picks! One Voice, by the Wailin' Jennys! -- and of course another Lina Sandell "Day By Day". (I had it at my ordination)


  4. Hey, sounds like fun at Grandma's! We will see you there. Chad K