“Like Confucius of old, I am absorbed in the wonder of earth, and the life upon it, and I cannot think of heaven and the angels. I have enough for this life.” ~ Pearl S. Buck…
The key to truly being alive while we are here on Earth is being completely at home in it–being completely present in each moment and absorbing in all the wonder of the Earth and of the life upon it. There are a lot of things that are outside of our spheres of influence and outside of our control–things that we cannot touch, see, hear, taste, or feel. And when we become so focused and engrossed on these things that we completely ignore the beauty and wonder of the world around us, or neglect our responsibilities, we miss out on living our lives fully right here and now.
It generally seems that those times in my life when my focus has shifted outside of the here and now have always been points in which there was a lot of change. Moving to a new city or a new home, starting a new job or career, or even getting lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. During the course of such times, I often found myself thinking about the future–where I was moving to, what it might be like, what my job might be like, or the people, how I was going to get by financially, and other things of this sort. My focus tended to drift from the present, into the non-existent future, and I missed a lot of the opportunity to spend times with friends, coworkers, teammates, and others who were in my life at the time.
As written in Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot. . . . He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Yet we often find ourselves desiring or even demanding things outside of their appropriated time–this includes heaven. Do we really want to be so caught up in thinking about what may come after this life that we neglect this life? There will come a moment when our time here on Earth will end, and our souls will pass from our bodies. But that time is not now. And when we allow our time, energy, and focus to become dominated with things that are not of this time–relevant and important to us now–we miss out on so much of this short experience we have here on this Earth.
Become absorbed in the wonder and beauty of this life.
Questions to consider:
Why might it be so tempting for us to focus so strongly on heaven and on things beyond this life?
What do you find as some of the most attractive traits of heaven?
How might we go about improving our focus on the here and now?
For further thought:
“For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.” ~ Albert Camus