Curtis S. Shelburne
One summer years ago while I was the visiting preacher for a loving and lovely little church in Indiana, one of the leaders there took my son Jeffrey and me out for a round of golf. (It was about the last time I played, I think.) Indiana is a beautiful state filled with rolling hills and lush green lawns and meadows. And, to a Texas flatlander’s eye, even its public golf courses are absolutely gorgeous.
As we were making our way around the course, we came over a hill. I looked across the fairway and there, a discreet distance out of the line of fire, nestled down in a wonderfully green meadow surrounded by verdant trees, was a fabulous three-story home under construction. The term “mansion” would be little exaggeration, but it was beautiful.
Below the mansion, just a stone’s throw down the hill, was a small mobile home, modest by anyone’s standards. My friend Irvin explained to me that the owners of the golf course were building a new home right on the course. That new home was the mansion. But until its completion, the owners were living in the mobile home.
I have no doubt that the little trailer provided shelter from the elements about as well as the mansion soon would. But, folks, when you’ve got a mansion waiting, it doesn’t make too much sense to get too attached to an edifice one notch above a fold-out camp trailer!
Though much that is still good in this world bears unmistakable witness to the love of our Creator, we are living in a fallen world. When we’re stung and feeling the pain and poison that all too often afflict us here, we need to remember that we’ve got a mansion waiting! That being the case, it doesn’t make too much sense to get too attached down here. For God’s child, this is not home. Not really.
If you’re his, you needn’t worry about leaving it. You don’t need to look back because, and I’m absolutely sure of this, when we go home, really home — home where we belong with the Father — we’ll not be leaving anything worthwhile behind.
If it’s good here, it will be there and in far greater supply. If it brings you joy here, something will be there which gives you the same joy but magnified a million times.
What do you like to see? Do you love to watch a beautiful sunset? The sun won’t set in Heaven, but I promise you there will be color and beauty there to dwarf the brightest sunset this world has ever seen.
What do you like to do that brings you deep joy? I am absolutely sure that something will be there that gives the same joy but immeasurably increased and completely unfiltered, totally untainted.
And who do you love here as purely and deeply as earth allows? Magnify that love a trillion times and try to imagine the joy of knowing each other absolutely completely and fully with nothing at all held back, and you may have caught just the smallest glimpse of what awaits.
Right now you’re living in a house trailer. There’s a mansion waiting. Don’t settle for too little too soon.
Curtis Shelburne is pastor of 16th & Ave. D. Church of Christ in Muleshoe. Contact him at