Growing up a Christian, one thing that always intrigued me was Heaven. Not that I didn’t or don’t want to go there, but that there are always interesting things that people think about when they think about Heaven.
Some people focus on meeting deceased relatives/friends/famous people. Others want to have impressive sounding pets — (A lion, tiger, or python anyone?). Some people want to travel to the distant parts of the universe and “explore”.
However, there is one thing that confuses people if they think long enough about Heaven: “Heaven is forever.” If Heaven is “forever”, then eventually we will get tired of talking with those from times past, tired of exploring new worlds, and perhaps our pet might not be as exciting as they once were to have.
Heaven might become “boring”, and if Heaven will become boring, then it doesn’t sound very interesting.
How could Heaven Ever Become Boring?
The only way we can arrive at the conclusion that Heaven is boring, is when we view Heaven as a destination. By thinking that Heaven is the “reward” for struggling through life, we subtly begin to view Heaven as the end goal, and once we have achieved a goal, the specialness behind the goal fades away.
We were born and created to challenge, discover, and explore, and when we have challenged the status quo, discovered solutions to our wildest dreams, and explored all the lands there are to explore, boredom sets in if a new goal isn’t set, and eventually goal setting itself will become bland.
So instead of Heaven being a destination, what if it is simply a stepping stone on a journey — a milestone on the road of life?
Heaven as a Piece of Our Journey
Viewing Heaven as a journey has many benefits, with the biggest thing being that our focus is on what we are experiencing and deciding to do instead of what we will be getting.
In the cosmic currency, giving is more significant than receiving. When we are viewing the journey, we focus on what we are willing to put into it. We look at how much gas we will need to put in the car, how much time the journey will take, and what the overall cost will be. We look at these details and contrast them with what the destination offers.
When we turn our view towards the destination, we view what we will be getting out of it. We ask questions like: “What will the destination offer us that is worth the time and stress behind the journey?” and, “Will it be time with family, an exotic location, rest from life’s stress, or time to be alone with God?”
Viewing Heaven through the eyes of what we will get will always result in us being unsatisfied — because viewing life through the lens of what we can get will always leave us disappointed.
Contrary to popular opinion, the journey is not simply the means to an end. The journey is everything, because when we try to take short-cuts, speed up our rate of progress, or accelerate our growth, we are too often met with disaster that leaves us further back then when we first began.
How can we apply this idea to our lives today?
Instead of going with the flow of culture, what can we do to shift our focus onto seeing life as an enjoyable journey? What can we do to enjoy the journey we are currently on?
Seeing life as a journey, just like seeing a marriage relationship as a shared journey forward, gives us probably the best earthly picture of what Heaven will be like. Instead of seeing Heaven, life, or marriage as a destination where we finally have arrived, it is always better to look at it through the eyes of the journey and ask ourselves, “What can I contribute?”
What can you contribute to your journey? Have you been contributing to the journey of life, or trying to consume the benefits of a destination prematurely?