As I was driving on a country road in South Carolina this sign caught my eye. Of course, the name triggered a bunch of random thoughts. My first reflection took me to back to the early 1960’s growing up in the Midwest where it was fairly common to see barn roofs painted with “See Rock City” and billboards with the message “Where Will YOU Be In Eternity?” I know where I want to be and it will require a lot of grace to pass the entrance exam. Still, I am hopeful and that brings me to the next question. Will Heaven be like Atlanta?
Since no first-hand reports exist on what Heaven is like, opinions differ on many details. That Heaven is immense is pretty much agreed upon. Looking for a way to describe Heaven, I keep visualizing it as a large metropolitan area that just goes on endlessly in every direction. You’re probably wondering how I came to choose ATL as the most Heaven-like and I’m happy to share my deeply complex and scientific process with you. Just so you know, I’ve been fortunate to have visited the ten largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. and feel eminently qualified to make the choice.
I used Olympic scoring to make the first cut, which meant the high and the low were immediately tossed. Goodbye(1.)New York and (10.)Boston. (2.) Los Angeles, (4.) Dallas, (5.) Houston, and (6.) Washington D.C. were eliminated in the second round because I just can’t bring myself to put Heaven and L.A. or D.C. in the same sentence and folks from Texas already think they’re in Heaven. Next out were (7.) Philadelphia and (8.) Miami. Philly may be known as the “city of brotherly love,” but that wasn’t my experience. Miami has much to recommend it, but having so many tourists just passing through didn’t jibe with my vision of Heaven. That leaves (3.) Chicago and (8.) Atlanta. It was a tough choice. Both have great airports, so they can handle a great influx of people that you would expect to be arriving in Heaven at all hours. For me, food, entertainment, and things to see are just about equal. In the end it came down to climate and I like ATL’s better.
My only concern about “Hotlanta” is this. There are at least 71 street names in Atlanta containing “Peachtree.” I find getting around the city to be taxing. What if Heaven uses a similar approach to naming? Just think of the possibilities; streets, neighborhoods, buildings, and other gathering places all with Eternity in the name. If that’s the case, I’m hoping to get a large helping of clarity along with the grace I’ll need to get through Heaven’s gate.
I believe God has a sense of humor, though I can’t find any scripture to support my position. So, I’m asking that if this is not received well, please add it to the long list of other things for which I need to be forgiven.