May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth.
There are no doubt people who are “so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good”, but I have met few of them. I have met many people who struggle to translate their idealism into action or to make their abstract thinking concrete to the general population – a population not disposed to think in the abstract; but I have met few people who are so focused on heaven that they have little impact on earth.
I have heard people branded as being so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good by others who don’t know what they are talking about because they don’t know the people. Often the people in question do their good works so that the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, and so the one who criticizes is not about to know what is taking place. I am often disgusted when I hear the Pietistic movement criticized as being so heavenly minded that it was/is no earthly good – the people who make that statement, including some popular authors (including as I recall dear C.S. Lewis) don’t know what they are talking about – the European Pietists were leaders in education and social services, not to mention spiritual renewal. Some of my holiness acquaintances continue to work with the socially disenfranchised in ways that are not designed to draw publicity but which are designed to change lives.
When I hear the Quietist movement branded as being so heavenly minded that it was of no earthly good I again marvel at the slander (not that most people who write or talk about the so-called Quietists really know much about them). Once again, these men and women were often working for political and social reform – often at the highest levels of government and often at great personal risk.
On the other hand, I have seen many who live not in the mirror of eternity but in the mirror of earth, and I know from personal experience that when we live in the mirror of earth that we cannot help those who live on the earth – for the ultimate way to help those who live on the earth is the guide them across the threshold of living in the mirror of eternity. It is as I live as a citizen of heaven that I can best help those who lives as citizens of earth. It is as I draw on the wisdom of heaven that I can serve those who live on earth. It is as I sit in the heavens in Christ Jesus that I can walk out life on earth for the benefit of those around me.
Most (all?) of us take one last look in the mirror before leaving for work or school or for a social appointment. We want to make sure we don’t have spinach in our teeth. Do we look into the mirror of eternity before leaving home each morning? Do we look into the mirror of eternity before work, school, or a social appointment? Do we keep that mirror in our hearts and minds throughout the day?
Often that last look in the mirror at home is to ensure that we will appear presentable to others; do we look in the mirror of eternity before we leave the house to ensure that at the end of the day that we will be able to present that day…not to man…but to God?