We followed the faded curb-numbers until we pulled into the driveway of one of the most dilapidated homes of all. My heart sank. If my son and his kiddo were going to move into their first house, I had hoped for better…even just a little better. My boy had a more open mind (and tighter checkbook) that I had obviously, because he jumped out of the car with enthusiasm, eager to snoop. I waited with Biscuit.
After making the rounds, trudging through the weedy, grassless yard, peeking in the dirty windows, he reported: “Well, it’s kind of eclectic, but I think it’ll work!”
I bit my tongue for the entire ten seconds it took to back out of the driveway.
“You are such a man.”
“Men are buyers. They want to buy the first thing they see. I am a woman, a professional shopper, and I think we should keep looking. Drive down that street.”
He mumbled a protest, but mom won. We had made only a couple of lefts and rights when suddenly – the whole world changed…(well, maybe not the whole world – but at least that neighborhood)…white picket fences, trees and flowers, bright paint, cars resting on tires not blocks – it was a dream!
“There! There!” I shouted. “Look at that one!”
It may have been a one-story, flat-roofed, cinder-block house, but to me it looked like a million bucks. Biscuit’s dad made the same assessment.
“I can’t afford it Mom.”
“You don’t know that! Let’s just stop. Stop! Stop!”
Moving tentatively around the house perimeter, like a Kmart regular at Macy’s, my son came back with that look Professional Shoppers know too well: the “there-is-no-way---but-I want-there-to-be-a-way-so- bad” look.
He let me call the number on the sign in the window.
Imagine his surprise…the thrill us professional shoppers know too well…the electricity that fills the universe when you turn over the price tag and see numbers YOU CAN COMPREHEND! It was exactly in his price range with extras and pluses out the ying-yang. We were home.
That was just last week, but the memories of drooling over home ownership are as fresh as the paint in Biscuit’s new bedroom. The way it turned out, our family had three babies before we had a nest, and they were all flying away before we moved into our “dream” house. It’s okay. The home I really want is still being built on the ultimate “Street of Dreams”.
Has anyone else ever thought about this? I like to imagine what my celestial mansion will be like. Will it be on a mountain top? Or come with an ocean view? Will there be a waterfall or a lagoon beside a tropical rain forest??? I have come to the conclusion that it will be whatever I want it to be. And right now, that’s WAY beyond my experience, let alone my price range. Musing on it makes me happy though and keeps me motivated. Eternal rewards do that. (1 Cor. 2:9)
In the same breath however, I must admit that divine promises have occasionally lost their punch, but only when I forget the reality of infinity, when the here-and-now usurps my imagination. And when that happens, I -- like my boy on his house hunt -- am more willing to accept the unacceptable. I come way too close to “settling” for much less than is actually available to me.
Elder George Q. Cannon: “I think it is of great importance to us as a people to know what we shall do. Are we content to aim for telestial glory? I never heard a prayer offered, especially in the family circle in which the family does not beseech God to give them celestial glory…celestial glory is our aim…All that I am on this earth for is to get celestial glory.”
When I think of my children and grandchildren gathered on a celestial Sabbath; when I visualize Ashley at a truly GRAND piano of celestial make, finally able to play the magnificent concertos she’s composed all her silent life; when I close my eyes to feel the arms of my beloved mother-in-law around me again, or picture the scene when Dale and I face each other on Resurrection Morning then bow together to kiss the feet of the Savior; I am more valiant, more committed, more courageous, more brilliant, more capable, more loving, more glorious than I EVER am as my fallen, natural, mortal-thinking self.
For me, it is vital to have hope, to point and align and rivet myself on the goal of eternal life, this in spite of my imperfections. Though building a celestial mansion is a process; a lengthy process that extends beyond death, the Savior is with me every mile. I sense Him directing me down one path and then the next, asking only that I go with him all the way to the end. He knows that my Celestial Mansion waits there - sitting on a hill, surrounded by crystal clear, forested lakes, overlooking endless fields of wild flowers.
Muse with me: Which of the images comes closest to your idea of the Celestial Kingdom? What are your dreams for your Dream House?