We Will Never Be Bored in Heaven: The Concepts of Completeness and Incompleteness

Eternity is a long, long time. “Long” isn’t even a remotely adequate word to describe eternity. Eternity is infinite. How difficult it is for our limited human minds to grasp the concept of eternity! Most of us would agree that eternity is a wonderful, blissful thing. Who wouldn’t want to spend an infinite amount of time in the presence of our God, who is Love itself (1 John 4:8)?

Yet sometime we may find ourselves wondering, But what if we get bored in heaven? Imagine if we went to heaven today. A billion years from today (measured in human terms only, of course, since time is nothing to God), we would still have the same amount of time to worship God as we did the first day we arrived. Wouldn’t we get bored?

Let us not forget that we worship an infinite God. There is eternally more to be discovered, more to be known about Him. God is fundamentally mysterious (Job 11:7). For the rest of eternity we will forever be learning more about Him. A billion years from now, we will look back and think, How little did I know of Him back then!

Our souls are also eternal. We will forever be having an increasing desire for happiness, and for fulfillment, and God will eternally satisfy this. There is always more to know, more to discover, and therefore we will never get bored in heaven.

On earth, we are always – even if only subconsciously – trying to resolve contradicting ideas, trying to find an aesthetically beautiful relation between all things. Throughout history, we can see that people have always had this desire; the longing to find Truth has always been inherent in the human heart. Often times, people have wondered, what is the ultimate fulfillment? Our hearts have an ever-increasing desire for fulfillment, for completeness. At the same time, however, we would also like to make sense of all the incompleteness we find in the world, and in ourselves.

Now we have a pair of opposites: completeness and incompleteness. Let me now digress for a few moments.

When opposites are reconciled with each other, beauty is created. This is true in all forms of art: to name a few examples, uncertainty and certainty, yielding and steadfastness, agreement and disagreement. Uncertainty can be expressed through dissonant chords and harmonies to create the feeling of tension, and certainty can be expressed with consonance. In counterpoint, oblique motion occurs when one voice moves in one direction, either up or down, while the other voice doesn’t move at all. Agreement can be expressed with parallel or similar motion (voices moving in the same direction); disagreement with contrary motion. However, as any good teacher of counterpoint will tell you, sometimes consonance (agreement) can only be maintained through the use of contrary motion (disagreement).

These principles are clearly applicable in our daily lives. We cannot know for sure about everything that will happen in our lives, so in that sense we are quite uncertain. Yet when we trust God, we are certain that everything will turn out fine if we follow His most perfect and holy will. Sometimes we must yield to other people, to accept what they are saying, and this also means accepting criticism gracefully. Yielding can mean respecting others’ desires and making the sacrifice to please others before ourselves. Yet sometimes we must remain firm, especially when we are defending the truth of God and His holy Church. As for agreement and disagreement, sometimes we can only maintain peace by accepting that we can’t have the same opinions and viewpoints, and respecting that.

God could be considered to be the God of opposites. How else can we reconcile His love and mercy with His wrath and justice? These are not contradicting things; they in fact complement each other. As I said previously, beauty is created when opposites are reconciled with each other. Is God not the ultimate beauty, then?

Now let’s go back to completeness and incompleteness, and how it relates to the fact that it is simply impossible for us to ever get bored in heaven. Eternity with God is, obviously, our ultimate fulfillment. Eternity is complete. Yet eternity, simply put, will last forever, so in that sense it is incomplete because it never will be fulfilled by anything else.

And this, my friends, is why eternity is such a beautiful and appealing idea. This is where our souls find the fulfillment to all our desires, in the presence of God. We have always wished to see contradicting things reconciled together, becoming one in an aesthetically beautiful way. Eternity with God is the ultimate realization of this desire. We will continue to have an ever-increasing yearning for fulfillment (incompleteness), and God will infinitely satisfy this desire (completeness).

This concept is indeed difficult to grasp, and I fear I have not adequately explained myself. In fact, I don’t even think I understand completely. (Of course! We’ll only understand when we’re in heaven!) Who am I that God should reveal such things to me and ask me to share this with others? But let the words explain for themselves; no more explanation is needed.

Proof of God’s Existence

Plenty of people in the past have gone great lengths to prove God’s existence. The fact is that no matter how much proof we can come up with, we can only become aware of God’s existence after feeling His presence in our lives. No one has ever been converted by a logical argument, but by God’s grace. We can evangelize all we want, but the truth is that we are only instruments of God’s love, and only He, ultimately, can convert sinners.

However, there is proof that God exists, although it is inevitable that many people will reject this evidence. I am thinking of writing an essay entitled “Music, Theology, and the Meaning of Life”, which will explain the connection between, well, music, theology, and life; indirectly, I will also offer proof, using the principles present in music, about God’s existence. One of these principles is the “unity of opposites” – in other words, when opposites are reconciled with each other, beauty is created. This is inherent to all beautiful music. Without understanding this, how can we reconcile the opposites found in God Himself, for example, His justice and mercy? If bringing together opposites creates beautiful music, than is God not the ultimate beauty, then?

And now we reach the most convincing evidence: if everything on earth, even those things that at first appear to be contradictory, are inherently related in a beautiful way, then can anything be proved by itself? No – everything on earth can only be understood in relation to or in context of something else, often times their opposites. Good is the opposite, and absence of, evil. Darkness is the opposite of, and the absence of, light. In fact, the path to light is to be aware of darkness.

If nothing can be proved on its own, then there has to be something that is infinite and that can be proved by itself in order for everything else to exist. This is God. He doesn’t need to be proved like everything else. He simply is and always will be. As He said, “I AM.”

Did God create everything, as we say every Sunday in the Nicene Creed? After seeing how opposites prove that God exists, we can easily reach the conclusion that God is the “maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.” And He created us.

Using my example about light and darkness, again, in order to understand light we must understand what darkness it. But in order to understand what darkness is, we must understand that it is the absence of light. How do we understand one without understanding the other? It is impossible to understand either of them without understanding both of them.

A word in the dictionary can only be explained by using other words from the same dictionary. So how on earth did we even learn and develop any languages at all? Sometimes to define a word, we use a synonym of that word. We cannot understand either word by itself. We can only understand both at the same time.

So why can we understand both, and how both are in relation with each other? It is because God created us, our minds, and our souls. Since God is infinite, this is why we eventually realize there must be something beyond this earth. Something – or someone, rather – that is making it possible for us to understand something and its opposite at the same time.

Do you see how wonderful God’s creation is? How beautifully organized it is? This is why “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).