A place prepared. A place prepared for me.
If I'm honest, it doesn't sound appealing.
Someone has prepared a room for me? I already prepared my own room. I like my room. My phone is prepared just how I like it. I eat food prepared how I like it. I listen to the music I like. I've spent months collecting all the right bands and albums.
I wear all the clothes I want to wear. I drove 5 miles in my car to a mall. I walked around the mall looking for a shoe store. I passed swaths of gaping store openings. I found a shoe store and stared under a wall of 50 options. I tried on three different shoes. I spent $50 on my shoes. The guy asked if I wanted to donate to charity. I said no.
They're grey because I think grey goes better with most of my wardrobe.
My house is prepared the way I want. I like the walls cluttered, the book shelves full, and the counters clean. My friends are who I want. I talk to them when I want. They read updates from me, sometimes when they don't want. My computer. My job. My aspirations. My three year plan and ten year dreams.
I'm still working on my kids. They're a work in progress. I want to see them grow and reach. I want to be with them through love and ache and graduation and grandchildren. I don't want my oldest son to be left-handed. He's determined to prove me wrong. I don't want my sons to ever work for a large corporation. I want one of my sons to be an artist. I want them to learn how to run and to use running as an outlet for their emotions. I want them to grow to have big heavy hands that work with wood under a square jaw. I want them to grow to drink beer and have compassionate, listening eyes. I want them to frustrate me with their well-read opinions and I want to argue about Steinbeck over dinner and laugh heartily.
Someone prepared a room for me?
If I'm honest, I don't think anyone could prepare a room as well as I could.
Heaven? Heaven is a room prepared?
Where is my control? Who knows what safety blankets to include in this eternal dorm? Who knows what moderate self-medicating vices to adorm MY room with?
A room prepared for me? Who knows what walls to build to keep secret fears out? Who knows what painful memories should be left off the wall? Who knows what memories are the most true I've ever had, and to freeze them in frame prominently, or near the door, or under a window? Who knows which faces I want eternally enshrined and which eternally vanquished?
Who has walked with me enough to know? Who has suffered with me?
Who has suffered me?
If I'm honest, my first reaction is disgust.
Jesus has prepared a room for me? What sort of room could fulfill me for eternity? Who does He think He is?
And after this pile of thought came a blushing awareness: the extent that Jesus' prepared room excites me is directly related to my honest closeness and trust in Him.
My satisfaction in those words betrays my level of trust and closeness.
If those words feel more condemning than liberating, am I just a foolish pilgrim who's fallen in love with the hotel?
Am I just a foolish man with my own room prepared? Do these words not make sense to me because the world soaks my ears and eyes with comfort and the intoxication and allure of false-freedoms anchored to vices? So much so that I can't see or hear what He really means? I can't see the world for what it is? I can't see that the room I have prepared here is smoke and mirrors?
If I were to only believe in Him, and know Him, and leave my own prepared and safe room behind, He would show me something more real.
"I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may also be. And you know where I am going."
But I'm afraid, if I'm honest, a big part of me would rather have $50 shoes.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.