“My grown son thinks I’m looney!” Trudy complained as she slammed a card on the game table at the senior center. It was enough to ruin her Friday.
“Why is that?” her card partner, Ellen, asked as she drew another card.
“Just this Wednesday, he drove me up to his place. Along the way, there was a big boy deer in a meadow. John stopped so we could look at it.”
“A big boy deer? How did you know?”
“It had, you know, the big horn things on its head about like this” Trudy explained as she spread her hands as wide as a bedspread.
“Oh. It sounds like you saw a ‘buck’ with big antlers and all.”
“No! It was a big boy deer, not a buck!”
“We don’t have big boy deer in this area. But we do have elk. Could that be what it was?”
“Absolutely not! You think I’m looney, too! No, it wasn’t an elk. It was a big boy deer. I do know the difference. I’ve seen them before lots. I lived way out in the country in Missouri before I moved here.” Trudy slammed down her cards and glared.
“I always thought you were a city girl. Like on a farm?” Ellen asked.
“No! I lived in an apartment!”
Just as Trudy believed she was totally right about the “big boy deer” and left no one room for even an experienced hunter to argue, so over the centuries, some have incorrectly applied their own interpretations to God’s divine concepts and teachings.
As Jesus walked, taught, healed and lead, some in the audience put their own spin on the scriptures. In this case, Jesus himself confronted them. “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.” [Matthew 22:29] They had asked about resurrection and wanted to know who a man would be married to in heaven if he had multiple marriages due to deaths in the family. But they had been thinking of heaven in terms of customs and practices on earth. Jesus told them there would be no marriage in heaven, but that beings there would be more like angels. [Matthew 22:30-32].
Then and now, the answer was not to figure out what heaven is like or a lot of other divine mysteries, but to continue to learn about God, his ways, his power, through studying the Bible, and day by day building a relationship with him.
Some who heard Jesus’ words understood. Paul summarizes by writing, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have fully known.” [1 Corinthians 13:12].
So the secrets of heaven remain. Who knows? Maybe besides elk, the countryside in heaven will have meadows full of big boy deer.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of scores of articles, a half dozen anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com and her speaking engagements. Jo lives in northeast Arizona and writes a popular humorous weekly blog on her website, http://www.button-to-god.com.]