If I could go back in time and make one moment last forever, it would be the evening of August 30, 1998. I was spending the weekend in Lufkin, Texas with two of my best friends, Keri and Brandon. They were helping me pursue the girl of my dreams –Jill Jarvis.
My friend Keri was from Lufkin. After eating at a local restaurant, we went to hang out at Keri’s mother’s house. As the four of us (Brandon, Keri, Jill, Me) were getting out of the car, something just blurted out of my mouth. “Jill, would you like to take a walk?”
Thankfully, she said “yes!”
At approximately 9pm that evening we began walking around a golf course near Keri’s house. For the next 7 hours –yes, 7 hours- we walked and talked until we finally sat down on a bench. We discussed our upbringing, what we believed, how God had worked in our lives, what our college experience had been like, what we believed about the mission of the church, who we knew in common, what we wanted to do in life, who our favorite musicians were, what we liked to do in our spare time… and about a million other things.
I listened to each word she said with every ounce of my energy. She was all I could focus on that evening. I couldn’t stop looking at her –she was beautiful. And she had a glow about her that was irresistible. I couldn’t get enough of her sweet, calming voice and her unique expressions. Our conversation was natural and unforced. Neither of us struggled to think of new things to talk about.
Looking back, we had the worst case of “puppy love” you could imagine. And yet, at the same time, we knew that it was much more.
Over and over we would look at our watches and say, “In ten minutes we need to head back.” However, we just couldn’t break away from that perfect moment.
It wasn’t until 4am that we finally made ourselves walk away.
It was the most innocent, beautiful, exciting, moment of my life. Neither of us wanted it to end. So, sixteen months later, we vowed ourselves to one another “till death do us part.”
After almost nine years of marriage, death parted us.
Oh, how I wish I could go back in time to see her again. I wish I could sit on that bench at the golf course with her again and never leave.
If I tried to measure the delight I find in that evening on the golf course, it would literally be off the charts. Yet, the most glorious thought is that my greatest experience on earth will pale in comparison to one second in the uninterrupted presence of God in Heaven.
Jill is already experiencing that glorious joy. And, unlike the golf course, Heaven does last forever.