Many people have questions about heaven, but a listener brings a concern to Father Dave regarding eternal life. John asks, “I have an acquaintance who’s scared of eternity. This person believes heaven will be boring, day after day after day…How can I explain heaven and eternity so that this person will look forward to it?”
Father Dave begins, “When we, as humans, have some trepidations or hesitations around [heaven] it’s because we’re thinking of this limited life. And none of us have any idea what it’s going to be like. But the only thing that we’re assured of by our faith, is that the concerns, struggles, issues and anything negative that we experience in this earthly life will not be present, including being bored.”
He focuses on the fear of heaven that John’s friend mentioned, as well as being afraid of the unknown. “When psychologists do quizzes or surveys of people, one of the very top fears that people have in life is fear of the unknown,” Father Dave says. He references stories from the New Testament when people would ask Jesus specific questions about heaven, but not receive a clear response. Father Dave continues, “Jesus doesn’t answer that. Essentially he just says, you’re not gonna be able to figure it out, you’re not gonna be able to conceive of it, because it’s something so totally different.”
While we cannot fully understand heaven, Father Dave describes how recounting the best moments of our life can help us try to grasp it. “I would encourage your friend, John, to think not that it’s routine or mundane, but that it’s the peak highlights of joy and euphoria that we have…what if it were like that for all of eternity? Because he mentioned boredom several times in the question, I think that would at least start to get him thinking in other dimensions.”
Father Dave cites what the Book of Revelation says about heaven, specifically how those there spend their days praising God. He recognizes that we may struggle with this idea, or even that it may not seem appealing. “When we are before God, what our faith tells us is that we will have no other choice, we will be moved to just give adoration and praise to God. Now that sounds boring, because it’s like, ‘I do that for an hour on Sunday. But there’s other stuff I like better, you know, watching football games, or waterskiing or whatever else.’ And it’s hard to say this, but when we’re there, none of that is going to be more attractive to us than giving God ultimate, complete, total praise and adoration all day long.”
For those like John’s friend who have trouble finding the motivation to seek heaven, Father Dave reminds us to pray for them and to help brainstorm different viewpoints that may slowly open their hearts to God.