One day many many years ago, my daughter asked me, “Pa, what is heaven like? What are the minimum qualifications to get into heaven? If I can meet those minimum qualifications, why should I even try to be a Mother Teresa?”
I replied, “I’ll answer those questions later. But, first, it’s almost lunch. Let’s talk about what to eat. Think about three foods. The first one is one that you like and would not mind eating everyday. The second one is a treat that you love; sort of like a ‘comfort food’; a step up from the first one; one that you would long for in special times. The third one is the ultimate meal; the one ‘to die for’; the top of the three foods; a celebration. What are your three foods?”
“Ok,” she responded, “the first one is macaroni and cheese, I can eat that everyday…the second one is sushi, uh-huh…and the third one is veal newberg, deeeeeelicious!”
“Well, then,” I said, “you just answered your questions earlier. If you meet the minimum qualifications to get to heaven, you will experience heaven in the way you like mac n cheese. If you try to be a person better than the minimum, you will get to heaven and experience whatever heaven is like sushi. And, if you are saintly, you will experience heaven and God in all His glory like veal newberg! See, all those who pass the minimum qualifications will get to heaven but each one will experience it differently. Most with pleasure, some with intense joy and a few with trance-like ecstasy.”
“Yum?” I asked.
“Mmmmm, good.” she said. “So, are we having veal newberg?”