The other day my seven-year-old was eating one of those Freezer Pops — you know, the plastic sleeves with frozen flavored juice inside that you squeeze up from the bottom. He came over to me as I was typing an e-mail and said, “Hey Mom. This is what my life is like now,” and he bit off a tiny segment of the popsicle.
Then he held up the remaining stick of colored ice and said, “And this is my life in heaven.”
A child’s object lesson in the temporary blip that is our earthly life, compared to the lasting enjoyment of heaven. Of course, heaven won’t melt — but his mind was on eternity.
And it’s so vital, isn’t it, that we teach our kids that this life is just the first bite of the popsicle. That it’s going to melt quickly, and the best is yet to come.
It’s so easy these days to get all tripped up by the untied shoelaces of wanting and having.
We’re so good at building our sandcastles on the shore, packing them with earthly treasures until we’re busting at the seams and decide we better build an addition onto the two-stall garage. And we forget that the tide is coming in, and the waves are going to wash our castle away.
And we can encourage this kind of thinking in our kids, too, when the bulk of our conversations revolve around the latest Ninjago books and Lego sets, and how much longer they’ll have to save before they have enough money for violin lessons or a telescope.
And there’s nothing wrong with Legos or violins or telescopes. The problem creeps in when those things are all we’re looking forward to, and what we want the most.
When life revolves around when we’re going to have those things.
Because we all know, things will not satisfy.
So we talk about our earthly wants and what it means to store up treasures in heaven, and we try to keep things in perspective. When the remote control airplane is missing a piece and doesn’t fly anymore, we acknowledge the disappointment but realize we can’t take the plane with us to heaven. We thank God for the gifts here, and enjoy them with sincere gratitude, but hold them loosely with upturned palms, for “the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1).
And we remember that heaven and earth and popsicles will pass away, but His words will never pass away (Matthew 24:35), and soon and very soon, we are going to see the King.
Maybe even sooner than it takes to eat a Freezer Pop.
Photo credit: Steven Depolo, Flickr Creative Commons
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