Monday, September 10, 2012

Living with Heaven in Mind

Have you ever seen the movie “The Bucket List?”  I’ve only seen bits and pieces of it, but it seemed interesting to me.  Here is the synopsis of it…. Corporate billionaire Edward Cole and working class mechanic Carter Chambers have nothing in common except for their terminal illnesses. While sharing a hospital room together, they decide to leave it and do all the things they have ever wanted to do before they die (according to their “bucket list”).  They embark upon a journey that brings friendship, discovery, and redemption.

Sounds like an interesting concept.  Making a list of things we want to do before we die.  These men waited until the deadline had already been given before they got started, but we can start today.  I watched an episode of the television show “Everybody Loves Raymond” that had a similar concept.  Ray was going through a mid-life crisis because he was getting shorter or shrinking and decided to make a “bucket list” of things to do before he died.  His list consisted of… eating things he had never eaten before and to never throw up again.  I guess your list is what you make it.  His wife tried to convince him that a proper mid-life crisis is living in denial not planning out your death.  What a funny way to convey the concept of living with the end in mind.
Being sick a lot gets you thinking of all the things you can’t do or those things you really wish you could do.  I haven’t made a “bucket list” of sorts yet, but I am thinking about it.  I have done a lot of amazing things already on the dream list in my mind.  I married the man of my dreams, I have two amazing boys, I have a cute dog, I went to college, I have been overseas to El Salvador and Mexico, I have lived in and visited several states, and I have met some pretty awesome people along the way. 

If I were to make a bucket list there are a few things I might want to put on it. One place I would like to visit is Prince Edward Island.  Ever since I saw the Anne of Green Gables series that island has intrigued me.  It is so beautiful!  My mother in law loves it too.  It would be awesome if some day we could go visit it together.  I also want to go to the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and publish a book or two.  Beyond that I’m not sure what I should add to the list.  Not throwing up ever again sounds pretty good.  I’ll have to put some thought into this.  I love making lists and more than that I love marking things off when I complete them.  It makes me feel like I have accomplished something.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about living with purpose…  “Living with Heaven in Mind.”  We aren’t promised tomorrow, but many of us live as though we are.  Some scriptures come to mind as I have thought about this.

James 4:13-15 says…
Some of you say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money."  But you do not know what will happen tomorrow! Your life is like a mist. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away. So you should say, "If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that."  (NCV)

 Matthew 6:33-34 says…
“Seek first God's kingdom and what God wants. Then all your other needs will be met as well. So don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will have its own worries. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NCV)

Colossians 3:2 says…
“Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth.” (NLT)

Being a person of purpose and a planner can be my downfall at times.  Because God has been filling my heart with this concept of “Living with Heaven in Mind,” it has been eye opening for me.  How can I live like this and not plan for the future?  I am not promised tomorrow.  That has never felt more real to me than now.  That being said, I want to plan for that possibility for the sake of my family.

I have set aside purposeful time lately to write out personal letters to my family in the event that my tomorrow isn’t promised to me.  I know it may sound a little morbid, but the reality is true.  We will all die some day and God only knows when.  This whole process has ripped my heart out to put it all on paper, but I want to be ready.

One of my son’s and I talked about this recently.  He said, “Mom I’m afraid to die.”  I asked, “Why?”  It seemed he was more concerned about how he would die than the whole idea of dying at all.  I communicated to him that we are all going to die someday.  The important thing about it is that we are ready.  Our hearts need to be right with God… the rest of the details are up to Him.  He seemed at peace with that.

What if instead of writing out all the things we would like our loved ones to know some day if we passed, instead we lived them out daily?  What if we were the person we wanted them to remember today?  How much different would our lives be?  How would that affect our families?  How much richer would our lives become if we lived with Heaven in Mind?

My challenge to you today friend is to Live with Heaven in Mind.  Make the changes you need to in order to live this way.  Live with purpose on purpose to impact your world for God. 

If you feel your heart isn’t right with God, it’s time for you and God to do business.  It’s never too late to settle things with Jesus.  He is ready and waiting for you.  He will meet you right where you are.  I would love to pray with you.  Please contact me via e-mail, facebook, etc… I am always willing and available to talk, listen, and pray with you friend.  May today begin a new journey for you of "living with heaven in mind."

Living to leave a legacy,