There was a movie years ago called “”Explorers.” It was a pretty cool movie about these kids who receive these amazing detailed images in their dreams. One of the kids is a real science wiz so he determines that these images are a design for something. He builds this device in his basement from old computer parts and stuff. When he tries it out it makes a little “bubble” that you can move around by inputting coordinates into the computer. After some experimentation they discover that the size of the “bubble” can change and be big enough to accommodate a “space ship.” So these kids build a makeshift space ship with oxygen and everything to take a trip in this bubble thing. They end up going into space, meeting these funny alien kids and generally having the adventure of their lives. When they come back home and the movie comes to an end there is a distinct impression that their lives, their “normal” lives will never be the same again.
This is a common discovery in many of these kinds of stories. There is this grand adventure usually involving danger and internal discovery of personal strength. Frodo Baggins in the ring series is a great example. They go on this incredibly dangerous trip and do things that they would have never dreamed. What was impossible one day was routine the next. What was likely to lead to failure and death actually propels them to the next great hurdle in their adventure. When it is all done you see Frodo at home “doing life” and you are sad for him in some way. His great adventure had become his life, his identity. Now what was he to do? He looks around and sees others having “a normal life” but just can’t seem to fit in. He has too many memories. He has too many desires. His hunger for more has grown beyond just a usual existence. At the end of the last movie he actually goes off with the elves to another land and another great adventure.
I believe that is exactly our walk as a child of God. I believe everything we “see” in God brings us greater understanding of who He is and a new perspective of what this “life” is. We step into our eternal Zoe life and stop holding onto our “normal” psyche life. For instance today I can’t watch movies I used to watch. It isn’t that I have become keenly aware of “a bad way of life” but I have an eternal, heavenly perspective. I don’t want to be fed by junk or trivial stuff but instead crave Jesus. His presence, His truth, His love is what I desire. When I see that and experience that I am walking in the great adventure, traveling to space, defeating the Orc.
Sometimes I encounter people who are still living very much in a different perspective. When I share with them they often look at me and say something like “that just isn’t real.” They are actually offended by my eternal optimism. They think that my head is in the clouds and I need to address “real life” as they would call it. I don’t think so. I don’t think Jesus lived that existence. Did He “do life” with others? Absolutely. He did it from His perspective. It may have been in our geographic location but from His reality.
Do you believe that God ever gets desperate or worried about something? Do you think that God ever feels like stuff is getting out of control? Do you think that God is concerned that we are all spiraling off into oblivion? Is it possible for God to see something as impossible? Can you imagine a God that wakes up every day and says “another day of the mundane, oh well, guess it is my lot in life.” Now ask yourself these questions: Will you be desperate in Heaven? Will you feel a persisting sense of dread in Heaven? Will you be struggling with day-to-day “real life” issues in Heaven?
The truth is that Heavenly reality, idealistic as it may seem, is your reality as a child of God. Stuff may happen to you on this Earth but the stuff no longer defines you. We don’t have to complain any more. We don’t have to argue any more. We don’t have to keep offenses any more. We don’t have to “just deal with life” any more. We don’t have to “be real” or settle for trivial. We are made for and have become something so much greater than that.
Here is the good news: is it is for now! Apart from new bodies we are living the eternal life now. If you believe we are supposed to struggle in this life and live a miserable existence to somehow prove our worth… then you have been deceived. In Christ we are receiving now and have access now to all the riches of Heaven (Eph 1:3). To say we need to endure to prove ourselves is to dismiss the cross. To say that we need to show our fortitude so that we might be found worthy is to say Christ was of no use. Jesus died for it all, period. Our struggle in this life is against the enemy not each other and not ourselves. The enemy is a liar and loves to bring us down from our heavenly places. He loves to tell us “that just isn’t real.” He loves to tell us “your head is in the clouds, you need to come back to Earth.” The enemy loves to dismiss our eternal optimism and replace it with “doing life.”
Listen, life still gets done with you are in Him. Life gets accomplished when your “head is in the clouds.” Life gets done when you are happy and hopeful and encouraged and full of faith; when you see your Dad as the most awesome Dad ever; when you love to experience joy and live in the power of His love and live in the power of His goodness; when you look to the amazing future you can see on the horizon and … Stop letting the enemy drag you down. When you encounter someone who says “that is too good to be true,” instead of “coming down to Earth” take the opportunity to talk about the weather in the heavenly places. Real life is eternal life. It is timeless and it is God. It does not live in disappointment or fear or desperation or any of that other junk people call “real life.”
The problem is you may not be able to live from it if you haven’t experienced it. You need your “Explorers” encounter. You need your Frodo adventure. You can’t give it away if you don’t have it. You can’t encourage another if you are in the pits, toiling the fields, living from a wrong perspective. Only Jesus inside of you can reveal His love to you. Only Jesus inside of you can show you eternal life, His life. Only Jesus inside you can breathe this eternal perspective into your very being. You have to let Him. You have to surrender to Him. You have to stop trying to “do” but instead “receive.” His rest is His plan. Your churn is your plan. Stuff may happen to you over and over but know, like Paul, that it is just stuff. It isn’t who you are. It isn’t what defines you. You can be an eternal optimist, really you can. Your “real life” can and should be His life, eternal life. You can and should love people from this eternal life. It will look different. It will likely shock the one across from you, but don’t come down from the mountain. Jesus paid such a huge price to put you on the mountain. This is what God says about the eternal optimist:
Heb 11:13-16 Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them (The Message).
These faith giants actually saw what we have today, Christ in us. They saw the goodness of God as a guarantee. They saw the eternal life that Jesus gives and God promised. Once you have tasted eternal life, real Grace in Jesus you can’t go back. You will be like Frodo looking for your next great adventure. You will be like the boys that traveled to space and back but still have to make their beds. You don’t look back your Earthly kingdom but live from your Heavenly Kingdom. You get to reveal the Kingdom of Heaven to all those around you. You get to be an eternal optimist.