Heaven was closer when I was younger
I saw it in the hue of the soft evening sky
Heard in a hymn the glory of eternity
Felt the Father’s love in my earthly father’s touch

My plans for the future
Amounted to little more than
Making my library books last the week
Rushing through my chores and school
Putting off bedtime as long as I could

I didn’t want to die
But if I did
I knew that far better things
Lay ahead

Heaven seems farther now that I’m older
I see the best of this life in a human face
Hear a whispered confession of an open secret
Feel the thrill of another’s hand intertwined with mine

My plans for the future
Burn with an urgency that consumes every thought
How to acquire keys
To a car and a house and success
Yet still remain free to wander the whole of creation

I don’t want to die
When there’s so much to experience now
Even though I know that far better things
Lie ahead

But maybe

Heaven will seem closer after I’ve grown up
When I see gray hairs framing the face in the mirror
Feel the crushing ache of loss upon loss
Hear only silence in a once-full house

My plans for the future
Will amount to little more than
Letting go of the possessions I fought so hard to acquire
Passing on the wisdom I gained only through pain
Serving Him till my lungs empty for the last time

I won’t want to die
But I’ll find peace in the knowledge
That far better things—
Eternal beauty, lasting peace, genuine comfort—
Lie ahead