I have always interpreted the verse from Isaiah that is quote in Ezra 3 as applying to heaven and living in eternity.
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
This is where my imagination would kick in when I was a kid. I remember sitting in church one Sunday when I was 7 or 8 and thinking, “Will Heaven be like one eternal church service?” In my wisdom, I then thought, “Well, that would be better than Hell.”
Then I thought, “There has to be more than that.” I imagined that there were fields and places to ride bicycles (I have just learned to ride). And I hoped there was football.
Looking at this verse today, I still believe that it is about eternity in Heaven, but today I wonder if it is also about living in relationship with God right now. What has God prepared for those who love Him? We have the Bible to tell us how God expects His followers to live. Maybe following God now according to His plan is better than anything we could see, hear or imagine in our minds. I also remember as a child hearing (and joining in) discussions about what things were permissible for Christians. Our church was very legalistic (no movies, no cards, no dancing, no alcohol), so we were always looking for something we could “get away with.” What if I had instead focused on following and loving God all the time? Perhaps that would have exceeded what I can imagine. I’m going to try that today.