The Trouble with Being Nearsighted
My vision has always given me trouble. Ever since I was in the 4th grade, I've had glasses or contacts. For most of my childhood, I was the kid playing basketball that always got his glasses knocked off and had to stop the game. I guess you could say I was pretty cool.
In fact, I was so cool, if you ask my wife she would love to tell you how I wore the same pair of glasses from 4th grade to my sophomore year in high school. The problem with my vision is that I am nearsighted. If something is close up I can see it crystal clear, but I am blind when it comes to seeing an object from far away.
Are We Nearsighted?
Everything is crystal clear when it comes to seeing what is up close. Our focus is exceptional when it comes to the here and now. We have no trouble seeing our family and friends. We see clearly, when it comes to our TV shows, magazines and sports teams. Everything is clear when staring daily at our jobs, our hobbies, or our bank accounts.
However, things get blurry for the church when they are too far away. Heaven seems blurry for the church today. Our risen King who is reigning on the throne seems blurry too. Eternal life with an imperishable body seems too far away. If we cannot see it with our eyes and touch it with our hands, then things begins to get a little fuzzy. If heaven is out of sight, then it is out of our minds, our hearts, and our priorities as well.
As I said in yesterday’s sermon, “the best way to live this life is in eager expectation of the life that is to come.” We need to have our eyes on heaven with our hearts treasuring King Jesus, longing for him to come again. Our vision should be focused on eternity as we live in this momentary life here on earth.
What's the Big Deal?
If we are not careful, our lives can be so consumed with this life that we lose our desire for eternal life. When our favorite team making the Final Four gets magnified in our eyes, than heaven gets minimized in our heart. When our job’s importance increases daily in our eyes, than the return of Jesus seems further and further away. Any time any earthly treasure starts looking like an eternal treasure, we stop treasuring the things above.
We really need a vision for heaven because we need an eternal perspective. This does not mean we need a little boy to go to heaven for us so we can learn about it. Instead, we need to study God’s word to hear what God says about the coming kingdom. You need to read how Jesus will “go and prepare a place for you,” (John 14:3). Daily you should “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth,” (Colossians 3:2). Holding fast to the promise that God will one day say to all his people “Behold, I am making all things new,” (Rev. 21:5).
Planning for the Next 10,000 Years
One of my professors in seminary preached a sermon in which he talked about “planning for the next 10,000 years.” What he was saying is let’s stop being nearsighted, only making choices for the here and now. Let’s focus in on the eternal life that is to come. When we do this, we will stop seeking what is satisfying in the moment to seek what will be satisfying for all eternity. We will stop making choices to advance in a company and start making choices that will advance the kingdom. While the earthly perspective might be good for the moment, a heavenly perspective will be good for our King and his kingdom for all eternity.
“But, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)