Speculating about post-death experience—yes, imagining eternity—can be a worthy practice. As life is often portrayed as a mix between ecstasy and agony and all manner of emotion between—including numbness—we might spend some worthy reflection time enjoying thought for how other-worldly an existence eternity might be.
Could it be a silent-night-of-the-soul experience?
In other words, could it be the self subsumed in thought for anything but for the self?
There will surely be release from the flesh—no ailing body, faulty mind, or maligned soul to deal with. Though we may be reborn to Christ, assuming salvation, ours is just the gate pass in this life. We are not home yet.
How Wonderful to Rest in Peace
Some people may find it ridiculous to venture thought for wonder regarding the post-death space. Those with loved ones dearly departed may think differently, however.
As thought is projected for a silent-night reality, present in the heavens, we have a strange new peace to look forward to. This sense of peace we will have never known. Nothing will characterise this peace more than freedom-from-self.
This bears a quiet, extended thought.
Freedom-from-self is a gift of a long-desired presence of humility, as natural as an angel’s. There will be no thought for selfishness, envy, anger, greed, malice, derision, pride, comfort, or any other vice.
To rest in peace is to be free from vice-motivated desire.
And so the negative is vanquished; it makes shrift way for the heavenly presence, and experience (if it can be described that way) of holiness; instantly, made like Jesus.
Engagement with the Heavenly Host
What roles there will be in heaven? What work, what praise, what perfection—and all to enjoy eternally.
Freedom-from-self leaves such room for the consummate filling of the infinite presence of divine perfection. No longer a burden on anyone, not least of all to us or God, total joyous productivity is suddenly in sight, as the silent night of the soul endures.
Freedom, Too, From Conjecture
The truth is we cannot imagine how wonderful eternity will be.
It will make the experience of life, however arduous it has been, so incredibly worthwhile, for we endured beyond our own will—God’s grace is revealed, indeed, as sufficient.
It may frustrate some to even picture life taken from an eternal context. So be it.
As we go about our daily lives, living the best way we can, accepting grace and the sufficiency of God, we are free to think and ponder as we like. The silent night of the soul is merely one potentiality. How wonderful we have minds to paint such possibilities! How wonderful that God has created us, in his image, like this!
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.