More Than a Fantasy

More than a Fantasy, by Steven J. Callis

Just Thinking:  College football is underway!  That fact means very little to some of you, I realize.  On the other hand, I read recently 20 things you will never hear a southerner say, and one of them was, “I don’t have a favorite team.”  Connie and I drove to Knoxville last Friday, and on the highways I saw vehicles saluting their teams:  Auburn, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia – – in the words of public address announcer Bobby Denton (for 44 years), “It’s football time in Tennessee!”  Vols fans hear that phrase at the beginning of every Tennessee football game.  Well, it’s football time in the entire South!!!

Coinciding with the arrival of football season is Fantasy Football.  I am in a league with my brothers, nephews, and son.  In Fantasy Football, I am the coach and manager, deciding who will play that week, trading players to get the best possible roster, etc.  Truthfully, though, it’s not much of a fantasy.  I can’t talk to my players, I am not actually on the sideline with an all-star lineup, I can’t hear the fans cheering…no, just names on a computer screen.

Now, Mr. Roark and his sidekick, Tattoo, had this fantasy idea perfected.  Guests of Fantasy Island actually lived out their fantasy for a weekend at this very special place.  The twist, however, was that people’s fantasies usually included unforeseen obstacles and glitches, often involving pain or heartache.  I wonder what YOUR weekend would entail if you took a trip to Fantasy Island.

The Bible speaks of a kind of “fantasy,” and participants will actually experience it emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  AND, there is no danger of heartache, pain, or disappointment there:  Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away…1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.

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