Jesus Cares About Now

Some glad morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To a home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away

I’ll fly away, O glory
I’ll fly away
When I die, hallelujah by and by
I’ll fly away

Just a few more weary days and then
I’ll fly away
To that land where joys will never end
I’ll fly away

How many times did I sing those words during my childhood? I’d sit in those oak pews with the red cushions, belt out that classic tune and dream of the day when the Kingdom of Heaven would become real. Long for the day when we’d all be rescued from this messy life and steal away to a land much brighter.

bird-escapeSome day.
One day.
Things will be better.
I’ll fly away.

The concept of heaven has always been this during my Christian life. Maybe you have a similar experience. But whether the concept of heaven has been used as a motivational carrot dangling in front of me to motivate good behavior or a “Don’t-Miss-Out!!” scare tactic to keep me from poor choices, heaven has always been there.

Out in the distance. Just out over the horizon. Some day.

But when I look at the words of Jesus, eternal life doesn’t seem to be some far off reality, but something that is here now, waiting for us to grasp it. Take a look at Matthew 13 —

 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!”

So eternal life is not just a reward earned at the end of a life well-lived, but something that is accessible for those who understand it’s value. For those who can see the truth and trade their own value for something much better. As we see in Jesus’ words in John 17 —

“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

Eternal life isn’t about flying away to another place, but planting your feet firmly where you are to grasp the eternal nature of God that is right in front of you. It’s a relationship with a God who is present.

Here. Now. Not on the horizon, but staring us in the face.

This isn’t to disparage that hopeful song by Albert E. Brumley. It’s meant much to a lot of people, including me. I believe that day will come when we’ll all be taken up to be with Jesus. And it will be glorious.

But when our eyes are focused squarely on the horizon, the ground in front of us simply peeks at us from the periphery. We can start to believe that this place is a mess, a dirty place that we long to be rescued from. And we can miss the beauty and joy and boundless wonder of God that is here at our feet.

beherenowSo today, let’s take our eyes off the heavenly horizon. Let’s look instead at the people and places around us and choose to experience the eternal, boundless quality of the life God has blessed us with today.

Because even when we look right in front of us, heaven will always be in the corners of our eyes.

Don’t miss the eternal today. Because Jesus cares about now.

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