Putting Heaven on Hold
There was snow in Orange County, CA this past weekend which, on one hand, is amazing– it’s a Christmas miracle in April! On the other hand, this tells us that we’re all going to die very, very soon. Snow in California in the middle of spring is NOT normal. The apocalypse is upon us! Hide yo’ kids, hide yo’ wife and hide yo’ husband!
The weather is funkalicious all around the world, there is increasing political and civil unrest in the Middle East, the global economy is in the crapper, our government is brain-dead…. and our pets’ HEADS are falling off! Japan, Haiti, Charlie Sheen, wars, rumors of wars… did I mention the weather is funky? These are all tell-tale (prophetic) signs that our world is coming to an end. Our current hell on earth signals the need for and imminence of a place we all call heaven.
For those of us who believe there’s a heaven and with confidence believe we are going there upon death, this question may start looming now with any talk of the end of time: are you ready for heaven?
I believe the answer is supposed to be “YES! Of course! Time to go home and meet my maker!” but if we’re honest (and I’m being honest here) we are not ready to go.
The only people who are absolutely ready for heaven are those who are in some form of deep pain, suffering, and/or loneliness.
The rest of us are not ready to go because frankly, we have too much to lose. Career, car, HD TV, iPad, trophy wife, dream guy, degree . . . and the list goes on.
Isn’t that crazy? Is this what we are putting heaven on hold for?
Hold on a minute though. Before you go on feeling really bad about everything, let me put on the brakes and propose this:
Maybe we are not ready to go to heaven because we’re supposed to try and bring heaven to earth right now.
Not in a weird cult-ish way.
In a real and loving way. In simple as well as in large, audacious ways. In the form of beauty and goodness. With generosity and kindness. With radical sacrifice and selflessness.
I think since the beginning of time, hell has existed on earth in the form of evil and tragedy in order to see what man-kind would do to counter it. Instead of bringing elements of heaven to battle the darkness, man has continuously wasted time by pursuing his personal heaven on earth (gotta get mine, baby!) while blaming God for being lazy, malevolent, impotent and/or non-existent with the world’s most terrible issues.
Maybe God wants us to sort through the mess and pursue heaven on earth instead of complaining or keeping ourselves busy and distracted with non-celestial substitutes. Think Lakers coach Phil Jackson — we all want him to call a time-out but he’s thinking big picture so he lets his team play it through and get it right.
There is no time-out in life. We each get one shot to make it right and as much as we tend and want to view heaven, earth and hell trichotomously, they have a way with squeezing into the same room together. If they are indeed in the same room, who do we give the microphone to?
Enough analogies for today. This is a straight-up topic.
Earth carries the potential for heaven or hell. While we are alive, we can put heaven on hold or unleash its beauty and practice for the real thing right now.
We are not ready for heaven because we have work left to do.
Are you ready?