Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.
Aim at earth and you will get neither.
~ C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
This is a simple statement, and yet I’m not sure we truly understand it. Or perhaps we understand it but we don’t believe it. Some might find it too good to be true that we would get earth in the bargain when aiming for heaven. Others may call it harsh that aiming at earth gets us nothing. I would argue that people who hold either of those opinions do not comprehend what it means to aim at heaven or earth.
To aim means to point at an object, person or target; direct your course toward something, or to aspire or intend to achieve something. (Webster’s) Directing our lives toward heaven is a far better goal than any earthly achievement.
The reason for this is that the Lord of Heaven always calls us to higher standards. This is why in the Sermon on the Mount we hear Jesus say things like, “You have heard it said love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
Earth says to put yourself first. Heaven says to do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Earth says to climb the achievement ladder and step on anyone who gets in your way. Heaven says to be kind and help pull others up when they are down.
Earth says to get all you can because the one with the most toys wins. Heaven says it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Earth says when someone hurts you, you get even. Heaven says to love mercy.
Earth says that if you have to follow rules, then follow the letter of the law, and make sure everyone else does too. Heaven says to follow the greater spirit of the law, this allows us to be generous and to protect the vulnerable.
Earth says to live life for your own convenience. Heaven offers us a life of purpose.
This is why when you take the higher aim toward Heaven, you get earth thrown in. But not the self-centered, ladder-climbing, toy-gathering, unmerciful earth. Instead, you get the goodness, the kindness, the honesty, the generosity, the compassion and thoughtfulness…all the ways we humans act when we choose to reflect the God who created us. We are capable of so much more than earthly standards. Let us aim and pursue Heaven.
Grace & Peace,