Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Looking Ahead

Today we begin with the Francis Chan quote, "People who are obsessed think about heaven frequently. Obsessed people orient their lives around eternity; they are not fixed only on what is here in front of them."

This quote presents to me one of the classic battles of our journey. As we are told in scripture we are not citizens of this world, rather we are citizens of heaven. However, as it has also been said we can be so heavenly minded that we are no earthly good. For example, right now we could look at Haiti and ignore it by saying well, in the end it will all work out for those folks down there. We know those who had made their commitment to Christ will join us in heaven. This could be the action, and might be the action some people are taking. While the premise is true, there is a significant flaw.

Our focus tends to be too limited. Now I know that is the whole point of a focus, to limit what we are looking at, nonetheless ours gets too limited. The problem is not found in our actions now directly, it is found in the way we view this thing or place called heaven. Often heaven is thought of as another place and another time. Somehow we disconnect our current reality from what is to come in the fullness of time. People who are obsessed with Jesus Christ understand we are practicing now for what it will be like when that time comes. The call is now to be a people who seek and work toward justice, people who bring comfort to the hurting, and are expressing the Kingdom of God in tangible ways. This gets much easier when we realize what we are experiencing now is not all there is.

When we are following after Christ with all we have it is easier to understand there is more to life than we can see right now. Because we can focus on the glory of Christ we can see how our actions today fit in with eternity. Our present struggle will pass, and the glory of God will enter in. Our actions are no longer limited to solving the crisis at hand, rather we focus on working toward the ultimate goal of the time when God sets everything right. We would now look ahead to what God is already putting into place. Obsessed people are not paralyzed by the moment, rather they are energized by what is to come.