When I was in college, I felt as if I were living in a perpetual state of waiting—to graduate so I could get a real job, to get married, to find somewhere to live. I viewed school as an obstacle to be overcome before I could really live. I wanted my college years to fly by so I could get to the good stuff.
As Christians, we can be tempted to do the same with our faith. We spend earthly days longing for heavenly ones. And as In Touch Magazine columnist Tania Runyan writes, “But what’s the problem with that? As believers, shouldn’t we see death as the good beginning anyway? If we are not of this world, why should we seize these broken days?”
One day during my senior year of college, I was driving when the song “While I’m Waiting” came on the radio. “While I’m waiting I will serve you… I’ll be running the race even while I wait.” I began to pray, asking for peace and joy during the waiting process. When I got home, I wrote a list of the blessings in my life. I began to make a habit of fighting the restlessness I was experiencing with gratitude (see Prov. 23:7). The next time I felt that way, I began to think of the things on my list, like sunsets, hugs, and flowers. It wasn’t an immediate change, but over time, I began to enjoy the present.
And I’m learning this truth: Christ wants us to love and enjoy living in the present moment. In John 10:10, Jesus says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus didn’t come so we could just hang out here on earth until it was time to die and go to heaven. His sacrifice made a way for us to experience that life now.
Runyan continues, “Creation is all we have now, and any glimpse of the kingdom of heaven is informed by the images and memories of our bumbling time on earth. We can cling to eternity only because of these moments of grace, microscopic blips of the blip of human life.” Sunsets and flowers aren’t even close to the wonder of heaven, but, as Runyan says so eloquently in her article, they’re just a hint of what’s to come.
Read Tania Runyan’s article, “The Sand Beneath Our Feet,” in the current issue of In Touch Magazine.