I was blessed to spend yesterday with lots of 'favorite folks' --- people I don't get to see too often and I really wish I lived next door to them all. Somehow, each time in a gathering like that, my mind drifts to what it will be like when we all finally arrive in heaven.
We won't have to worry about getting somewhere to find a seat --- there will be lots of room. We won't have to worry about sitting by someone we like, because we will be family with everyone we see. There won't be a rush to the schedule as time will not exist. (I can't begin to process that, so I just say to myself, "I'll think about that later.") We may have to take a turn at doing the dishes, but it seems like even that will be fun. Perhaps a bit like when you're washing the car on a hot day and you turn the hose on everyone in the yard....
I also got to see a personal hero yesterday. He's in his 90's and had a very difficult childhood. Life was not fair. But he made it! For many years, he and his wife were stationed overseas while he served as a chaplain. He needs a cane now just a little bit and it required a lot of planning for someone to stay with his wife so he could attend. He said, "I can't wait to tell Ruthie how wonderful this has been to see everyone today!" Rarely do you see someone with such total joy! He is such an incredible treasure.
I realized as I looked around the meeting room, the majority of people there had similar stories. They'd lost dear people they loved through all sorts of circumstances, had major 'things' in their lives, who knows how much sadness...but overwhelmingly, they share present Joy.
We had a nice dinner after the luncheon....how funny is that! And I realized --- I am always at 'the fun table.' Is it a goal? Is it planned? Nope - I've just been blessed by going through life with friends who make the most of things. And that was a huge part of our dinnertime discussion --- overcoming. It is amazing what some people make it through. Instead of letting their horribleness conquer them, they conquer it. In the midst of hard situations, my motto has become: "You might as well laugh." Not in a jolly-go-lively silliness, but living with the Joy of the Lord. There is a huge difference.
I realized that when we were choosing our meals, we'd all asked: "Would you like to share?" We were speaking of food. But we had shared so very much more.