A family friend of mine now works for PriorityOne Foundation men's ministry and sends out a weekly "Thursday Thought." I particularly enjoyed this one and so I'm passing it along to you...
“They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.” Acts 1:10.
This is the moment that Jesus departed the earth to return to the presence of His Father. Within Christianity, this is called the Ascension. The disciples stood watching this moment happen for as long as they could. Two angels appeared and stood by them, apparently unnoticed at first. One of the angels spoke up, telling the disciples that Jesus would some day return in the same manner that He had just left. But they were not to wait around for this to happen, for no one knew how long that would be. God, the Father, in the mean time, had other things for them to do. We are still, some two thousand years later, “in the mean time”.
Followers of Christ have been “looking intently up” toward heaven in our attempt to discern what we are supposed to be doing “in the mean time”. It is a healthy tension to be in. I once heard someone say that a follow of Jesus needs to keep one eye focused towards heaven and one eye on what we sense God would like us to do here in our world – the eyes of our heart focused on God and our physical eyes, in obedience to God, focused on the work of God in our lives. That is the tension and the challenge. I find that it is not profitable for me to be so “heavenly minded that I am no earthly good”. I do not need to be one or the other – “either/or”; rather, I need to be “both/and”. I need to be heavenly minded in order to be of earthly good. The key is to be “intently looking up” to God for clarity on what He desires for me to do. And then to do it!
It is so interesting to me that Jesus, the perfect Son of God, needed to be in continual communication with His Father. He spent many solitary times away from all other people and in the presence of His Father. He apparently needed those times to “refill His tank”, preparing Him for the present day’s activities and mission. If Jesus needed to do this, what does that say about me….what about you? It is also interesting that Jesus’ time with His Father always resulted in action. Jesus never just basked in the “glory” of His Father. His time with God always prepared Him for doing something. Again, I ask, what about me….what about you?
Take time today to reflect on what “looking intently up” to connect to God means in your life. What response does this provoke in you? I challenge you to consider the tension on being “heavenly minded” and “earthly good”. I know that for myself, I can be of no earthly good without being heavenly minded. How about you?