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Heaven might be like a hardware store [UPDATED]

Published 8:52am Wednesday, June 13, 2012 Updated 11:55am Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The other day in church, I was talking about whether heaven exists, and if so, what it would be like. Here’s what I think.

First, heaven may well have a lot in common with an old-fashioned, turn-of-the-century (19th century, turning into the 20th) hardware store, one with wood floors that squeaked as you entered, and merchandise piled up everywhere.

You could charge stuff to your account in this hardware store, because, as was the case back then, everyone knew everyone else, and credit, not credit cards, was an accepted way of life.

You were greeted by your first name, and any outstanding accomplishment that you had achieved in life was the first topic of discussion, like, remember that football game when you made that touchdown?

Or, remember bowling that 299 game?

Heaven must be a little like that, right? Accepting. Proud of you. Your credit is good. (You hope.)

There’s even forgiveness for tipping over Mr. Smith’s outhouse that Halloween, or some other ill-considered behavior you’re not so proud of, but outgrew.

And the store itself would have no back wall, just go on and on and on.

A while ago, in a fit of self-improvement, I ordered a DVD containing twenty lectures on dark energy and dark matter. Yes, I know: What was I thinking?

But I find cosmology, the study of the universe, to be pretty interesting, even though this guy delivering these lectures likely has an IQ double mine.

But he doesn’t make me feel that he’s smarter, and he does pull several different theories together nicely. Never mind that what little math he does pull out of his hat began with Einstein, and has been complicated even further by scientists since them. Mostly this stuff is theory, which is why these guys are called theorists, because as it turns out, they’re a bit short on scientific proof for what is turning out to be a big problem for them.

The problem is that they cannot adequately explain why the universe is expanding, which it is doing. The Hubble telescope has pretty much let them observe that.

They don’t even need to get into the light shift, the cosmic microwave background, or the interesting but quite mind-numbing fact that relic particles from the big bang do not decay into neutrons plus left-over neutrinos, because any neutrino worth its salt would have to have an anti-neutrino, but anti-particles must encompass a final quark solution, which doesn’t seem to be forthcoming.

Belligerent little buggers, these particles, for not stepping forth and being observed.

This causes cosmological theorists no end of frustration.

One theory postulates the existence of a multiverse, meaning that there is not one universe, but many. Somehow or other (hang in there, we’re almost there), for reasons unclear, this multiverse theory works itself out nicely, in theory, there are eleven universes. Not ten. Not twelve. Eleven.

In order to make all this planetary expansion work, there is some unseen energy at play, and they’re calling that the dark energy, which they know is there for the planets to be acting upon one another the way they are.

Furthermore, this expansion-causing energy is measurable, and has to be 70 percent of all the energy in the universe. But alas. It’s invisible.

A good cook always throws in something extra when creating a dish. What if God, who may not have had a cookbook to follow, looked at page one, Baked Universe, and thought it wouldn’t hurt to throw in some extra zip, and did so.

Seventy percent extra.

There you are. Heaven is a parallel universe, and dark energy is the Hand of God.

I hope so.

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