My pastor is fond of sharing a quotation by CS Lewis regarding how some people feel that Christians are so heavenly-minded that they won’t do any Earthly good. CS Lewis retorted that it was only when we are heavenly minded that we do any Earthly good. Thoughts of heaven are like the scoreboard at the football game. It reminds us of our ultimate satisfaction and encourages us to strive for victory. Heaven can seem to have little to do with Earth until we remember that the whole purpose of this life is to prepare us for the next.
Thoughts of heaven serve another purpose too. They remind us of what we are giving up when we walk contrary to what God desires. If every good and perfect gift is from above (see James 1) than everything that we are made for, everything our heart seeks, is to be found in heaven. Poor substitutes are found here on Earth and yet sometimes we settle for the also-runs. Thoughts of heaven remind us of what we are actually giving up in order to take advantage of those temporary pleasures. As Frederick Ward Kates reminds us, “The purpose of religion–at any rate, the Christian religion–is not to get you into heaven, but to get heaven into you.” Our walk of faith is designed so that more and more we seek the same things that God desires so that we are better prepared for the fullness of satisfaction that comes when we finally join Him.
A song that we use to sing as Sunday Schoolers sums it up nicely:
Heaven is a wonderful place
Full of mercy and grace
I want to see my Savior’s face
And heaven is a wonderful place
I want to go there.
Lord, let it be.