Beyond that, I imagine heaven to be fulfilling. Not in the tranquil, static sense of kicking back after having achieved a great aim of objective, but fulfilling in the sense of always being involved in creative and productive thoughts, actions, and tasks that lead to ever greater growth, understanding, and development -- of constantly working toward challenging and engaging goals that expand into larger goals or merge with the goals of others to create co-operative goals.
When I imagine heaven, I inevitably picture it as one of my near perfect days at home with my family. On those near perfect days I spend much of the day outside in the yard working in the garden with my wife and son or hammering away at small home improvement projects like installing ceramic tile or finishing up that outbuilding I began renovating last summer.
I don't think about the world too much on those days. Instead, I think about what heaven must be like. I also think about the butterflies fluttering around the lavender my wife planted next to the well, the village storks and their four (!) chicks, the charming puppet show my son and some of his classmates recently performed, the hens pecking away at the plastic bucket I accidentally left in the run, and what kind of post I should write for the blog that day.
These thoughts run through my mind as I weed the garden or paint the interior walls of the outbuilding. Blackbird song and cuckoo calls come and go with the breeze. A neighbor pops by and asks me to help him pack some furniture into his van. As we walk to his house, my son joins us and meets up with the neighbor's kids to go for a bike ride.
After I return home, my wife asks me to install some ceramic tile in the laundry room. When the job is done a few hours later, she smiles, kisses me, and compliments my work. Back in the yard, I sit down near the well and watch the butterflies for a bit and then join my wife at the raspberry bushes where we silently pick the first of this year's crop.
Later, I cut the grass and watch the setting sun flood the landscape in deep orange and yellow. My son returns from his outing just before the sun dips below the horizon and together we round up the hens and put them away for the night. As we are doing so, my son informs me that his bicycle sear is is wobbly, and I promise to have a look at it first thing in the morning.
Going into the house, I reflect back on everything I did and then look forward to all the tasks I will do the on following near perfect day.
Demonic poison floods the world, but I can honestly say that I live a fulfilling life, and when I think of heaven, I picture as being even more fulfilling than one of my near perfect days.
Fulfill. From the Old English fullfyllan. It's an interesting word when you consider it for a moment. On the one hand, it represents the state of "making full" or of "being full" marking some sort of completion. On the other hand, you could also interpret it as filling that needs to be completed to reach the state of being full.
When I imagine heaven, I picture it as a state of fullness that is eternally being filled without ever being completed. The fullness keeps expanding as it is forever being filled.