We can compare our time here to a journey in a foreign land. On this journey we gain many experiences and get insight into many things. But when the time comes for our journey here to end and we go to the place where we will remain forever, the question will be whether or not we have gained any wisdom that will be of value to us there where we are going.
The experience of life can be compared to that of a student who is on a study tour in a foreign land. Perhaps the student only thinks about having a good time while he is in the foreign country. Then when the tour is over, he has wasted all his money and time. The wisdom he has gained is from empty entertainment and pastimes. In other words, when the trip is over he has gained nothing related to the original intent and purpose of the trip.
What do we gain of value?
This is exactly how it is for many people here in the world. They are called to live together with Jesus for all eternity, and yet all they think about on their journey here in this world is being well thought of and being looked up to by others. As a result, when their time on earth is over and they enter into eternity, the treasures and wisdom that they have gathered are totally inappropriate for heaven. Every human being that is born has a heavenly calling in his heart. But there are many temptations in the world, and as a child grows up, he makes choices that determine the kind of content he will gain on his journey in life. Those who choose God’s will, gain true wisdom from the trials that they meet in life. When they deny themselves and do God’s will, they gain experiences, which will be of value in heaven. They bless instead of cursing, love instead of hating, serve instead of dominating and demanding, give cheerfully instead of taking, etc. As a result, when their journey is over they will have gathered treasures and wisdom in accord with their calling and applicable to their future together with Jesus.
When a human being enters this world he doesn’t understand anything, but when the time comes to leave this world he understands many things. All of the experiences, knowledge and wisdom gained in life reside in his spirit. We come into this world naked and we must leave it naked; we can’t take any of the earthly things with us. In this, the rich and the poor are alike; but what dwells in our spirit we take with us. This will be our wealth for all eternity. How sad it is when people gain only sinful experiences and wisdom about temporal things from their journey of life. At the end of their lives, the only thing you can talk to them about is houses, furniture, clothes, food, and the like, things that they won’t have the slightest use for when their journey here is over.
The journey is familiar for Jesus
Wake up to the calling you have! Begin to live with eternity in mind. Sanctify Jesus as Lord in your heart. This journey is a familiar one for Him. He Himself has experienced the temptations and difficulties of a human being. He lives in the hearts of those who believe, and guides them by His Spirit so that they end their journey with great heavenly wealth.
Those who overcome in the time of temptation will receive the crown of life. Those who have done God’s will on earth will receive a crown of righteousness. And those who have lived sacrificially for others will receive an unfading crown of glory. “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
Adapted from the article “A journey in a foreign land,” first published in Norwegian in 1960
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