Often we think of heaven as an arrival, either here or hereafter, but wisdom eventually teaches us that actually it is more about the journey than the destination. Today when praying, I considered the possibility that heaven was that marvelous long sought after moment when our ultimate potential has been fulfilled.
What then, though, I asked? Upon further consideration, that sense of finality seemed only temporarily heavenly to me; when all is said and done, it is progress that is exciting – so ripe and full with God’s attentive care! I could not be blissful without that. Then I realized, as if thunderstruck, that the process of fulfilling our potential, is itself heaven. That’s why we can seek heaven on earth as the Lord’s Prayer suggests. Our potential as God’s perfect reflection is as complete now as it will ever be.
So as we work toward fulfilling our unique, limitless potential, both here and now, as well as on through infinity, we are in heaven. It is more a realm of productive thought aligned with heart and action, rather than a geographic place or an accolade to be achieved.
We pray to be led “not into temptation” and delivered “from all evil,” because these things would steer us away from heaven or inhibit our access to it by obstructing our way. And truly, clinging to the rock for God’s help, everything plays into the unfoldment of our potential, since “all things work together for good to them that love God.”
It’s not that we’re in heaven after we die and have met certain requirements for admission during a one-time application process. On earth, heaven is not only experienced after pinnacle moments, such as when we are healed, or we get that job, or have that long desired baby, or get into that college, or get an A, even though those types of things can be sign posts along the road. It is about process, not product. It is not about summiting, but about continuing to climb. It’s not about winning the race, it is about running your best from where you are.
The reason this insight is important is that we don’t have to wait to be judged either before or after death on how we have done. We know ourselves in our own consciences when we are making progress on fulfilling our potential. We need to assert that as the perpetual goal, not some artificial benchmark of human achievement whereby we can feel momentary satisfaction, nor living for some cosmic litmus test at the end of our days. Heaven is here and now to the degree you are in the process of fulfilling your destiny being God-like as God’s own child. You have eternity in which to arrive, but the blessings are immediate upon each step of progress.
Owning that fact and claiming it as you surge or tiptoe forward, brightens your pathway up to the inevitable divine heights. Heaven is not for some other season or state. Jesus said, “Behold, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” He also emphasized that, “the kingdom of heaven is within you.” It is therefore presently possible, well within your current abilities. It is as close as you taking your next right step.