I feel like every day that passes, my longing for Heaven grows even greater.
My heart longs, more than anything else, to look on the face of my Savior and finally rest in the Permanence and Finality of the Kingdom of Heaven. Somedays, I get really caught up in just wanting Jesus to come back, and I forget how immensely important it is that I don’t just engage with desiring Heaven but that I act as a vessel of Heaven in the right now. The Now and Not Yet tension of the Kingdom of God is ever increasing and with it the importance of the True Body pursuing the imitation and presence of God’s Goodness and Intimacy in the right now of a world that has always been drawing ever nearer to that final day when all will be set right and we will no longer be on the homeward bound journey because we will have arrived.
But the thing is, we haven’t yet. And so, as we have not yet reached the final destination, so the race is not complete, and there is still much Work to do. Good Work, Holy Work. And sometimes, I think of this journey with great Joy and opportunity, but other times, I see this marathon through our world of pain and suffering as more of a dreadful walk—dragging my feet in frustration and anger, wishing that the path ahead was an easier one to walk. But it is not—our journey is not made to be easy, nothing about Jesus’s life was easy, why do we believe for a moment comfort should be our reward or that we are entitled to anything quite easy. There is no reward in what is easy or simple. There is no growth in the laidback and unpruned. We are built to grow through the burying and pruning and challenging. And this difficulty that accompanies most moments of our lived experience makes for rather good and specific means for us to draw near to the Father. For we would see no reason for God if we never had any encounter with the disagreeable or uncomfortable. In the end, it is all for Good, but for now, there is trial before the final Good is realized.
So, we shall fight the Good fight because it really is Good—we shall pursue the things of Heaven when all seems lost, when the overwhelming noise of the world seems to drown out the consistent whisper of our Creator. So many believers have become obsessed with recognition and “making their mark” as the only reason to live. And so, I see believers chasing after their own names instead of Jesus (I am definitely guilty of this too). “If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.” (C.S. Lewis)
Our only ability to make an impact in this world stands quite squarely on the mindset of Heaven. And so, our longing for Heaven grows—our thoughts toward Heaven grow—our actual impact and ability to make disciples grows significantly the more our thoughts are focused on the things above. For where our minds are focused, so our lives shall be focused there as well. We pursue our greatest thoughts, and if our greatest thoughts are not on Heaven, our Kingdom of Heaven impact will be miniscule indeed.
There are two attitudes of which we may adhere to—that when Heaven seems quiet, there is no hope or that when Heaven seems quiet, we shall be even more bent on pursuing the Kingdom Now.
C.S. Lewis (unsurprisingly) has a rather remarkable take on living Kingdom-minded. In the allegorical tale, The Chronicles of Narnia, Lewis writes, “I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”
I cannot wait for Heaven and for all to be set right in the Kingdom, and I don’t ever want to be caught sleeping on the Promises of God. Feelings are not king, Jesus is—as difficult as our journey through this life is, if we are still breathing, we have a calling and a purpose and it’s not time to go Home yet. So while we are here, wandering as foreigners in a strange land, longing for our Home in the Kingdom, would we look forward with great Joy and Hope to our Eternal Home, while still remaining firmly planted in the Right Now of our callings.