Lost Horizon, Zanadu, Paradise Lost, Emerald City

What do the words in the title have to do with each other?

Emerald CityPerhaps they are lost and fabled places from time gone by, whether it be fictional or historical. Utopia. Wistfulness. Horizons of the past, lost through the fog of time.

If I stop for a moment I am sure I could recall everyone of these places of literary past. I’ve read about them. Studied them, and even, I’m sure, written about them in some report. Somewhere. Sometime. Way back. I think.

As a kid I remember the movie, Wizard of Oz. It was black and white, because we had a black and white TV. I do not remember it having color until I was an adult. Married. But in Mrs Winters 4th grade class in Seabrook, TX, we put on a play about the Wizard. I remember playing about 4 different roles – a munchkin, spider in a forest scene, choir member, and for the life of me I do not remember the other role. Chris Carpenter (astronaut’s daughter) was Dorothy. Who were the other players? They are lost in time must like those places above. Back then there were no portable video cameras, and very few walked around with a camera of any kind slung around their neck. I doubt there is a single photographic record of this event in all my families boxes of histor.

I never saw the final product. I was always in performance. Changing costumes. Singing here and there.

I remember the changing room as our music room where I first watched and listened to the story about Bambi…I remember tearing up when the shot rang through the room. This was not a fabled part of my past. This was a real place. 

It was also from Mrs Winter that we heard her read “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”. I’m not sure it could be shared today as it was back then since it was penned by a Christian author, C.S. Lewis. In my mind, this was also a fabled place! Perhaps no different than the ones in the title.

Last evening, finishing a busy day, I had a thought about Heaven. Some call it a fabled place and we waste our hope, time and energy wishing and working for that future home. Regardless of your religion there is often a place similar to the Christian’s view of Heaven. Peace. Safety. Comfort. Much like those places previously mentioned.

Here’s my thought. I cannot go into the past and find these places. However much I would love to live in my own past of growing up in gentler times, it is an impossibility. Yet, there is one thing I can aim for and that is a place of the future. That’s why I live the way I live.

John, the Revelator, closest friend of Jesus, and the one who would live longest of all the original 12 disciples, was given a vision that he recorded. At one point near the end, these are his words.

Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth,
for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.
Also there was no more sea.
Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying,
“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men,
and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people.
God Himself will be with them and be their God.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes;
there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
And He said to me,
“It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.
I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts.
He who overcomes shall inherit all things,
and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”

(Revelation 21:1-8 NKJV)

“Writer! You had me with you until you talked about that place of punishment… I just don’t believe in that, but I can believe in heaven…” Hmmm…