What is your Vision of a Perfect World?

In a perfect world…fill in the blank.  It’s no secret that our world is far from perfect.  When I read stories of little girls and duct tape or hear of another child shot in gang crossfire, I ache for a world in which things like that simply do not happen.  But what, exactly would such a perfect world look like?

Winners and losers in a perfect world?

No doubt we all agree that violence, wars, disease, corruption and poverty have no place in a perfect world.  Beyond the absence such egregious evil, however, our visions of perfection may differ.  What kind of economy would exist in a perfect world?  For some, the obvious answer is capitalism; for others socialism.  Would there be wealthy and not-so-wealthy people in a perfect world? (See previous question.) Would there be winners and losers?  (Will the Cubs be losers even in a perfect world? Say it ain’t so!)  Seriously, in a perfect world would we enjoy competitive sports in which someone must lose?  Would a perfect world be conflict-free?  Perhaps we each think of a perfect world as one in which everyone agrees with…me!

Conflict in the Garden of Eden

These questions occured to me as I read the book Half the Church by Carolyn Custis James.  In a discussion of Genesis 1-2, she asked some provocative questions.  Was there any conflict in the perfect Garden of Eden (before the fall)?  Can our lives tell an interesting story without conflict?  “Is heaven plotless?”  (p. 67)  This was actually a tangential point of Custis James’ book, the primary message being that men and women were created as joint  image-bearers of God, and that we should work together to rule and subdue this imperfect earth.

Conflict is not incompatible with perfection

Imagine Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, the only two people to ever inhabit a perfect world.  Maybe Eve thought they should plant geraniums on the side of the house, but Adam preferred tomatoes.  Conflict.  Two different people will naturally see the world and its possibilities differently, but conflict is not incompatible with perfection.  Adam and Eve, in a perfect world, would have used their disagreements to listen to and learn from each other.

Custis James writes, “Conflict will always be the story…(it) brings out the leader in us, transforms our lives from the mundane to the cosmic, and by God’s grace forges us into more compassionate, selfless leaders.  Conflict in our stories isn’t in the way, it is the way…”  (p. 96-97).

What is your vision of a perfect world?  Do you think there will be conflict in heaven?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The hope of a perfect world

One day God will recreate the heavens and the earth in a new and perfect state.  In it we will live and work and enjoy God and his creation.  I can’t imagine what that will be like, but I look forward to finding out.

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.  They will be his people, and God himself will be with the 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.”  Rev. 21:3-4

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About Judy

At heart I am a student of truth, an observer of culture, and a communicator. Jesus is my teacher and my Lord. In pursuit of these passions, I read as much as I can, serve as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group, and write a blog in an attempt to synthesize it all. I take great delight in my relationships with family and friends, and I also enjoy long walks, bike rides and cooking. And did I mention that I like to read?
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7 Responses to What is your Vision of a Perfect World?

  1. Beth Allison says:

    We are only human and we put words around what we don’t fully understand. The perfect world occurs when we feel connected to God. We are like a musical instrument finding the correct pitch and tone to express who we are, who we were created to be. The more closely we perceive his will for each of us, the more content we become with experiencing and expressing perfection. Until we understand this, we project our human view of perfection on ourselves others and become judgmental and cynical and impatient. We look out when we need to only look within. We miss the whole point. Perfection starts and ends within us. Simple. Who we are resonates from within us so the more in tune we are with God, the more perfect our world becomes. God promises that eventually all will resonate with him. He is working with eternity, so don’t grow impatient and disgusted. Find your own note of perfection, help those around you, and forgive those who don’t care. Peace.

    • Judy says:

      So true that we fumble around with concepts and words about perfection with which we have absolutely no experience. I guess any knowledge of God and his ways is like that to some degree, since He is so far beyond us. It is endlessly fascinating to ponder, isn’t it? Thank you for joining this particular pondering session! I love your image of getting in tune with God to experience an internal perfection and your acknowledgment that patience and forgiveness is required for the world and those in it who, for whatever reason, are not interested in tuning in. There will be no perfect world until everyone in it is perfectly connected to God. That is, of course, the bottom line. I believe perfection starts and ends with God, and that he graciously shares his heart, his Spirit, his words, and most importantly his Son with us. By doing so, He invites us to share in His perfection. He is the conductor with the perfect pitch. When we tune in to him our lives resonate clearly and purely against the cacophony of this chaotic world. (I’m loving your music metaphors!) I really appreciate your final thought – that we are ultimately responsible for our own connections to God, and only then can we live lives of love, service, forgiveness and peace. When I focus on Christ, I live with peace in my own heart and toward others. Those are the moments I feel closest to perfection.

  2. KJ (Ruthie) Lange says:

    God always surprises me with what He’s had in store for me. My imagination, as wild as it is, just doesn’t fathom His. Conflict is a forever human condition. Managing conflict and rising above it, with all our faults, is a lofty enough goal to have, yes? Competiton is good when it brings out the best in people which it can do. Innovation and creativity are often born in conflict but perfection belongs to God. Sue, I love your “dis-eved” word. Awesome!

    • Judy says:

      I like the way you put that, “Conflict is a forever human condition.” I suppose it is a function of our uniqueness and free will. We are all different, so I suppose the trick is to maximize the differences in creativity and cooperation instead of stifling them in our own personal empire-building. I tend to be a conflict-avoider, so it has been helpful for me to think through this. Waiting for God’s next surprise:) Maybe I should say “Sue-prise!”

  3. sue anderson says:

    Wondering about the concept of “dissatisfaction” in heaven. So back to the garden….was dissatisfaction possible? Was Eve dissatisfied or merely “dis-Eved?” :) If in a perfect world, there is no dissatisfaction, then there would be no need to “push” our preference. It seems like the only reason I rally for my preference, is that it will make me feel more satisfied – either from the pleasure of the outcome or the pleasure of my circumstantial victory. Not sure. Will think more before publically displaying my scattered thoughts. :)

    • Judy says:

      Great observation, Sue. Your thoughts are well collected and clever as usual:) Maybe in a perfect world, when we’re completely satisfied in the Lord, we can work and even compete without being so invested in “winning” or fearful of “losing.” Thanks!

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