I will tell you what I used to think and what I think now.
I used to think of the Garden of Eden when I heard the word paradise. And I used to think of the Hawaii of long ago (before it became so commercialized). I used to think that Hawaii, or some other tropical island, was just about the closest thing you could get to Eden.
Today, I think of the Garden of Eden - not the physicality of it but, rather, the condition there. Paradise is not so much a location as it is a condition: in paradise, there is real peace – not just peace from war but total peace. Peace among men, among animals between animals and men. And peace bewtween man and God. In paradise, there is serenity, happiness and true security. It does not mean frolicking around with a grass skirt on and flowers in my hair (although there is nothing wrong with that). Paradise does not mean lack of technology or cool gadgets.
Paradisaic conditions will be restored to earth – that is what I see. Room and spaciousness - no apartment buildings where we are all on top of each other. That was never meant to be. Rolling hills and lush meadows. Clean, sweet air. Thunderstorm and lightning shows that never harm us. Work that is a pleasure to do and not a chore. Walks in the rain in the middle of the night with no fear.
Every smile is genuine. Every hello is filled with love. Marriage lasts forever and couples fall in love over and over again. Old age, sickness and death are but dim memories. Mothers and daughters look the same age! Fathers and sons look to be brothers.
Technology continues and new inventions are for fun and to facilitate life but are never misused. Oh, I could go on and on but this should be sufficient to get the picture of what I see when I close my eyes and softly say . . . paradise.
P.S. Hannah Paul loves it when Vot speaks in the third person! Hannah hopes Vot will not stop. :)
P.P.S. Vot is right. Jesus DID speak in the third person. Check out Matthew 25:31.
Hannah J Pau