“Is This Heaven … ?”
by Stephen Doherty
August 20th, 2023
“The sun will rise and set regardless. What we choose to do with the light
while it’s here is up to us. Journey wisely.” ― Alexandra Elle
One of the greatest movie lines of all time was when Kevin Kostner’s fictional father, John Kinsella, was reincarnated on Kostner’s Iowa baseball field amidst acres of corn as he marveled, “Is this Heaven?”
His question was a legitimate one as he had passed away an old man years before – until summoned by the magic of his son’s Iowa baseball field (“If you build it … “he” will come.) in the iconic baseball father-son love letter, Field of Dreams. The history they made lasted just those six on-screen minutes, but it brought grown men to tears with a few short words. “Hey, Dad, wanna have a catch?”
I was riding my motorcycle to Sturgis a couple of weeks ago, with a couple of lifelong riding buddies, and as I watched them ahead of me, cutting through the cool mist of an early Colorado morning with nothing but an empty highway in front of them, I found myself getting goose bumps at the surreal beauty of the moment and thinking to myself, “Is this Heaven?” I believe that one of the pre-requisites of the Heaven inquiry is an experience that tantalizes all of the human senses.
For me, the sounds, the sights, the smells, the tastes, and the touches experienced cruising across America perched atop my suburban chariot, exceed anything and everything else I do or experience. Oh, you might get a spike among one or two of your senses at a concert or barbecue joint, but to have all five constantly activated and thriving in unison puts that endeavor atop my list of ecstatic and rejuvenating experiences. It’s never a bad time to remind everyone that part of happiness and good mental health is engaging in such soulful and rejuvenating activities.
I have many friends who have similarly experienced their own, “Is this Heaven?” moments in their lives. For me, roaring over snow-capped mountaintops and beautiful green valleys and flatlands atop a roaring motorcycle, checks the box. It warms my heart to see my friends and family members experience their own spiritual exhilaration working in their gardens or roaming the back-nine of a beautiful golf course or perusing fine literature in the quiet and comfort of home.
The sources of, “Is this Heaven?” moments are as long and varied as the individuals seeking out such spiritual inoculation. After all, what better way to prepare for Heaven than to experience it as often as we can on this side of the rainbow? It’s the ultimate validation of the things we cherish doing most. “”Is this Heaven?”
I pray that upon closing my eyes for the last time, I’ll open them atop a rumbling motorcycle aimed into an endless horizon of eternal highway and sunlit mist. That scenario would provide the perfect answer to the next curious observer who might enquire, “Is this Heaven?” I’ll be able to answer with the confidence of a man who has seen God’s handiwork on countless rides and landscapes, “Yes … this is Heaven.”
“Not all those who wander … are lost.” -JRR Tolkien