Thursday, August 16, 2012

Musing about heaven

I was at work, in an intensive care room, and I heard some music playing in the background that caught my attention.  It was a piano, playing a meandering melody, one that was soft and easy to listen to.  It brought a small bit of peace to an environment that is often chaotic to those living there.

I love to listen to solo piano played in the manner that I heard it today.  And I regret that the opportunity I had to learn to play the piano when I was younger was squandered.  I took some lessons through an excellent public school music program in fourth grade but loathed the idea of practice.  In fifth grade I moved on briefly to violin, then in junior high I started with the string bass, although that was left behind at graduation.  And since then I have occasionally dabbled with various instruments, never progressing past the most rudimentary ability, if that, with any of them.  If I could play one instrument fairly well, and only for my own satisfaction, it would be the piano.

So in the ICU, as I listened to the piano, I began to wonder a bit about heaven.  Would I be able to play the piano in heaven?  It may be possible.  We think of heaven as being a perfect place, so perhaps I could learn to do something, such as to play the piano, and do it well, in the hereafter.

That seems like a reasonable thought.  If heaven is viewed as paradise, Eden restored, the place where perfection exists in every way, something like becoming proficient at something I’ve always admired should be possible. 

Heaven is the place where we experience eternal rest.  The place where we spend all of our time fishing, playing golf, reconnecting with our grandparents.  We should be able to do, and enjoy, our every desire there. 

Those things are the types of things I’ve thought about heaven in the past, and which I’ve heard many people talk about before.  They suit our imagination as to what the “perfect world” may be like.  But those images of heaven lack one thing, the only thing that really matters.  They lack the presence of our Lord and Savior.  The one in whom all things were made.  The one for whom all things exist. 

The biblical images of heaven that we see in Isaiah and Revelation show heaven a bit differently.  The focal point of heaven is at the throne of God, and all who are gathered around it aren’t kicking back and relaxing, or “chillaxing,” as some of my children may say it.  The residents of heaven are engaged in the passionate worship of God.    

There have been many books written about heaven, one of which I’ve reviewed here.  We can speculate endlessly about what it will be like and who will be there, but we won’t really know until we get there ourselves. 

If I am able to play piano in heaven it won’t be because I merely want to, but because in some way my doing so will be pleasing to God and that the music will be to his glory. 

One thing I can know for certain about heaven is that it exists for God and his eternal glory.  Everything else is secondary.  In John 6:40 Jesus says,
“For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Eternity with God is promised to all who believe in the finished work done by the Son on their behalf.  Here is a short piece of solo piano to listen to as you ponder the promises of God for you.
Cross references:

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. I've often thought "I can't wait to get to heaven so that I can actually have a great singing voice." It's difficult (if not impossible) for imperfect man to imagine a perfect heaven. I'm sure of one thing . . . it will be beyond my expectations.