"LUKEWARM PEOPLE think about life on earth much more often than eternity in heaven. Daily life is mostly focused on today's to-do list, this week's schedule, and next month's vacation. Rarely, if ever, do they intently consider the life to come. Regarding this, C.S. Lewis writes, 'If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this." p. 75
I think the words of C.S. Lewis are profound... and dead on. But, more importantly, the scripture Chan uses to back up his claim holds weight to the overwhelming Christian masses of today.
"For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:18-20).
There's a lot to digest here. But, I think the first thing to address is the question of how we live our lives... more specifically, how do we PRIORITIZE the things in our lives? As Christians, this should be easy to answer. We prioritize everything under God... because He's, supposedly, our number one priority. But, do we really live our lives that way? When you wake up in the morning, is He the first thing you think about? For me, the first thing I think about in the morning, as my alarm clock is going off at 4:52, is whether or not it's my turn to go to the gym or my husband's. If it's my turn, then, I dare say, God doesn't even cross my mind until I get in the car and turn on the radio. Now, on the other hand, if it's my husband's turn to get up, I very cheerfully roll back over and thank God for the days I get to sleep in. (And believe me, I'm not patting myself on the back for this... I'm painfully aware that my thanks is the result of selfish motivations, not love for God!)
But that's the whole point Chan's trying to make. We are a people ruled by our selfish desires... no matter how innocent they are. We live our lives for the moment, for what's on the calendar next week. BUT... what if next week is never going to happen? What if you only had five days left to live? Would you live your life differently? And I'm not talking about quitting your job, maxing out your credit cards and living high on the hog for five days! What I'm asking is whether or not your heart would change in those five days. Would you reach out to those you've casted away? Would you hold your children more? Tell your spouse you love them more? Would you be more generous with your time, with your money? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, the next obvious questions is this: Why aren't you living that way now?
Think about your own life... how you live each day. Where does God fit in your "To-Do" List? Now think about how things would be different if you learned you only have 5 days left to live. Spend today living your life as if this was the case... see what happens!