December 5

Today's quotation:

I am so absorbed in the wonder of earth and
the life upon it that I cannot think of heaven
and the angels.  I have enough for this life.

Pearl S. Buck

Today's Meditation:

How many things do we spend a lot of time thinking about that are completely out of our realm of control or influence?  How often do we get stuck thinking about something like heaven that we can't see or touch or feel while we're here, completely ignoring the beauty and wonder of this world we're on in the meantime?  It can be kind of frustrating to see other people neglect their responsibilities, not help their fellow humans, or even kill other people because of what they believe will be coming when they reach heaven.

"Everything in its time."  There will be a time in our lives when heaven is relevant to us--and that will be when our time here on earth ends, and our bodies die.  Until then, though, if we focus on it we're taking time and energy away from those things that are relevant and important to us now.

I've moved quite a few times in my life, and I know how it feels to be focused on something other than the here and now.  I've sometimes spent so much time thinking about where I was moving to and what it was going to be like that I completely lost focus on the present, on the things that were in my life currently.  Sometimes I even gave up on things like making and keeping friends because I knew that I'd be leaving soon, so why should I continue to make new friends or maintain old friendships?

Do we really want to get so caught up in thinking about what may come after this life that we neglect this life?  I've known people who do so, and it's not a pretty sight to see--their lives are full of disappointment and dissatisfaction because nothing that they have or do can compare favorably to what they see heaven as being.  Personally, I prefer to be absorbed in the wonder of the earth--I'll have plenty of time to think of heaven and its angels, in whatever form that consists of, when my time here has come to an end.  But until my time here has ended, it's still my time HERE.

Questions to consider:

Why is is so tempting to focus so strongly on heaven?

What are some of the most attractive traits of heaven?

How can we improve our focus on our own here and now?

For further thought:

I'm reminded of the story of the Sunday School teacher
who asked the class, “How many of you want to go to heaven?” Everyone raised their hands except one little
boy.  The teacher asked, “Johnny, don’t you want to go
to heaven when you die?” “Oh,” he said, ”when I die.
I thought you meant now.”

Richard R. Crocker



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