There is an old saying in some Christian circles, “don’t be so heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” This is a jab at the person whose thoughts are always in the clouds, always elsewhere, and never concerned with the practical realities of life. However, if one did a quick survey of those who are involved with the world’s most neglected and despised people: the poor, the hungry, and the sick, one will typically find a high percentage of people who might be described as “heavenly minded.”
The whole point of being “heavenly minded” is not so that we might disregard the challenges of the present life. Quite the opposite, the Lord’s Prayer tells us that we should live our lives so that things in our world will mirror the realm of God, in other words, “on earth as it is in heaven.” Heaven gives us a picture of how things should be and motivates us to not be satisfied with the broken and hurting world as it is (for more on what heaven is like click here). One of the reasons that Christians are supposed to live lives that differ so radically from others is because we stand with one foot in heaven and one foot on earth. Heaven is something we experience on earth when we do God’s will. Going to heaven then, is simply placing both feet into that mystery which we have already experienced in small glimpses and small tastes while on earth.