So many to choose from.
I will probably make enemies with my selection.
Here are my reasons:
- I don’t know many American Christians — the people who typically sing this song — who only have a “cottage below” or just “a little silver and a little gold.” Even if we feel like we’re struggling to pay our bills, we usually have more stuff than we know what to do with.
- I long for a righted world as much as anyone else does, but not for a mansion. I want to be in Jesus’ presence. I want to see his face. I want to be able to touch and know this being I have come to love so much. I want the barriers of this world removed, not just a glitzier, shinier version of the here and now.
- “Don’t think me poor or deserted or lonely.” Really? If you don’t feel that way, then stop complaining so people won’t think you are. Instead of whining about what may or may not be wrong in your life, tell people what’s good. God blesses each of us every day in ways we seem to not even notice. Slow down, intentionally look at your life and notice just how much you really do have.
I fully realize that there are struggles in the here and now. I realize that scripture even uses physical metaphors of gold and jewels to describe our eternal home and that Jesus promised that he was going to prepare a place for us. I just wonder if those glitzy descriptions don’t speak to one of the lower parts of our human natures — our desire for wealth — rather than our better parts. Are we so riches-focused that God realized that would be an effective way to describe Heaven? If so, that is a sad commentary on what we value.
Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others. … St. Augustine
So I will gladly relinquish my mansion on the hilltop to the single mom who raised 5 children in a 2 bedroom apartment or the homeless family who couldn’t even get food stamps because they lived in their car and didn’t have a physical address. I just want to be in God’s presence and hear his voice. If that happens, I’ll sleep in a sleeping bag under the stars. No problem.