I Want to Go to Heaven

I Want to Go to Heaven                                                     May 7, 2023

“Every athlete exercises self-control…They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one…” (I Corinthians 9:25)

John “Pepper” Martin played for the St. Louis Cardinals and was the star of the 1931 World Series.  Following one of those games Pepper was interviewed by a newsman.  The first question he was asked was, “Pepper, what’s your chief ambition?”  Without hesitating Pepper responded, “My chief ambition is to go to heaven.”

The newsman who interviewed Pepper Martin laughed at his response and said rather sarcastically, “Oh, you want to play a harp, eh?”  Martin shot back at him, “My friend, I don’t think that is funny.  I know you don’t mean to be a smart aleck, but there’s something with a person’s attitude when he’s flippant about serious things.  If there’s anything foolish about reading the Bible every day and believing what it says, and if there’s anything funny about wanting to go to heaven when you leave this world, then I’m afraid life here isn’t worth living.

What a goal!  To go to heaven.  I’ve often asked people, “If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would you choose?”  The responses have been interesting.  A common response is, “I’d like to go to Europe, Paris, or to Greece, etc.”  I don’t remember anyone saying, “I’d like to go to heaven.”

The Christian life is like running a race.  In the ancient Olympic games the winner received a perishable wreath of ivy or pine.  We are in a race for an imperishable wreath that will never decay.  We want to go to heaven.  Nothing we gain in life in our careers or accumulate through wealth will be taken into our caskets.  Our friends will not go with us.  We will go alone.  All earthly treasures will be left behind.  But, we look beyond these temporary trinkets to an eternal home where we will live for eternity.  In the words of our hymn, “Heaven will surely be worth it all.”

By Al Behel