If you’re anything like me, most days you see everything upside down.
I understand your hesitancy to agree with that last statement. Things might look pretty right side up at the moment. If you give me a minute to explain, you’ll begin to see how your vision is flipped.
Most of us see everything upside down because we see things in an earthly context instead of a Heavenly context. That sentence is filled to the brim with meaning. To help break things down, let’s just take one subject and look at in both the context of earth and Heaven.
A Once in a Lifetime Experience
The subject of pleasure clearly shows us how we see everything from an earthly context and how that’s an upside down perspective.
Most of us associate pleasure with earthly things. This makes sense because we’ve just experienced life on earth. It’s not exactly a bad thing to associate pleasure with earthly things.
With that being said, it is a bad thing to ONLY associate pleasure with earth.
When we assume that pleasure only happens on earth, we make all the fun things on this earth seem like exclusive experiences. This leads us to thinking that Heaven is going to be kind of dull when compared to Earth. Most of us think of Heaven more like a really great nap and less like a once in a lifetime tropical vacation.
There’s nothing wrong with naps. Most people love a good nap, but that doesn’t mean they’ll choose a nap over something like an exclusive pleasure. That’s why many of us are really glad that we’re going to Heaven even though we’re not looking forward to it.
In other words, we think that life on Earth is more fun than life in Heaven and that makes us more excited about sex or kids than seeing Heaven.
I’m not here to make you feel bad about that. I don’t want to run some guilt trip on you that causes you to abstain from all pleasure on earth. I just want you to start seeing things right side up.
Pleasure is not something exclusive to earth. Many of us come to this conclusion because it appears that worldly people experience more pleasure. This leads us to thinking an inherent part of Christianity is to abstain from pleasure.
It is true that a big part of the Christian life is delayed gratification. That does not mean that there is no gratification. That does means that we are passing on the scraps because the feast is getting prepared for us.
God created the incredible pleasure of food. He also made music. He even invented sex.
How did we come to the conclusion that the artist behind these awesome pleasures lives in a super boring place? Wouldn’t it be safe to assume that the most creative being in the Universe would live in a pretty cool house? Wouldn’t it be weird to visit the house of a painter and find blank walls and bland furniture?
The same guy who crafted the Himalayas knows how to make something that takes your breath away. Heaven can’t disappoint. No matter how high you place your expectations, Heaven will exceed them.
It’s Better Up There
I started off by saying that we see things upside down because we think that we will enjoy less pleasure in Heaven compared to our time on earth. That’s the opposite of the truth. Living in a fallen world means we experience less pleasure and not more.
We see everything upside down because we believe that our time in Heaven will involve less pleasure than our time on Earth. We know that Heaven is going to be great and we really appreciate Jesus dying to get us there. However, we also get this idea in the back of our heads that we need to soak up as much pleasure as possible before we get to Heaven.
To counteract this upside down perspective, we need to remind ourselves of the truth and think about all the things that will be better in Heaven.
If any of us look forward to Heaven, it’s usually because of the things that will be absent in Heaven. For example, there won’t be any death in Heaven and consequently we get to hang out with all our lost loved ones there. There’s also no danger in Heaven so we won’t have to deal with worry, stress, or fear.
Even though the absence of death and fear will be beyond incredible, Heaven has so much more to offer. There will be joy, comfort, and pleasure that we didn’t think was possible. Our greatest experiences on Earth are only the smallest taste of what is to come.
I get that it’s really easy to say this and really hard to actually see the world this way. I know in my head that I’m headed for an eternity of immeasurable pleasure and yet my heart daily tells me that I’m running out of time to get married. Flipping my perspective is not something that happens overnight and it’s a daily struggle to open my heart to God’s truth and love.
Waiting in Line
‘For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” – 1 Corinthians 13:9
All the pleasures that we’ve known are like the crumbs of Heaven. What we have to look forward to will make everything down here seem boring and plain. The sooner that truth becomes a part of your daily perspective the greater your life will become.
The idea that we might miss out on pleasure here on Earth drains the hope and expectation out of our lives. It makes us feel like we have fewer and fewer opportunities for pleasure. This anxiety causes many of us to compromise in areas of our lives because we worry that we will never get the pleasure that we want.
Simply put, it makes us see everything upside down.
We’ve got to acknowledge that we’re headed for an eternity of immeasurable pleasure. We need to understand that our time on earth is just the line outside the greatest show in the universe. When we accept that truth in our hearts, our perspective will begin to flip right side up and we will begin to see things clearly.
Image Copyright: Rhearay2287 http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Welcome_to_Las_Vegas.JPG by