Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Prepared Place, Prepared People

One October day many years ago, my family loaded our luggage and headed South for a much-needed vacation in Florida. Hours later, my husband drove up to the main entrance of the condominium where he’d made reservations for us. I went inside to check-in. When I told the clerk my name, she smiled warmly and said, “Yes. We’re expecting you.”
Within minutes my family and I entered a spacious, luxuriously-furnished condo on the seventh floor. From our balcony, we could see two heated swimming pools, two hot tubs, and several picnic areas—all facing the white sands and the emerald green water of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition to providing and maintaining outdoor amenities, the management had even stocked the kitchen with orange juice, a dozen eggs, muffins, jelly, paper towels and the like. The management’s careful attention to detail impressed us and conveyed to us this message: “We’re glad you’ve chosen to stay here. Enjoy yourselves.”
And enjoy ourselves we did. We rested and rested and then rested some more. We jumped in the waves. We walked along the water’s edge and left our footprints in the wet sand. We let the wind play with our hair. We lay on the beach and absorbed its sights, sounds, and smells.
In that pleasant environment, school and work seemed like a far distant past. No clocks. No deadlines. No demands. No need to hurry. It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
There was time to reflect. And, as I did so, I remembered a thought one of our former pastors loved to express. “Heaven,” he’d say with a smile, “is a prepared place for a prepared people.” Indeed, it is, for Jesus Himself said, “I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am” (John 14:2b-3, NLT).

   Our vacation ended years ago, but I continue to rejoice in the thought that when my life is over, I have a reservation in Heaven, that “prepared place for a prepared people,” that place infinitely more wonderful than even the best of the best vacation resorts. Have you, Dear Reader, made a reservation?

Note: This is a recent photo rather than one taken at the condo mentioned above.

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