I was blessed as a child to have parents that were free from work during summer months to travel. As a result I visited every state in the U.S. except for a handful by the age of 14. Traveling gave me an appreciation and fascination of history, especially that of the old west. As a 7 or 8 year old, I remember the first time we went to Tombstone Arizona and the great anticipation of being in the same place where the famous ‘Gunfight at the OK Corral’ played out in 1881 – shooting imaginary ‘bad guys’ out the window of our Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser on the way there. I imagined myself as Wyatt Earp, slinging lead left and right, and being the only one coming out unscathed. In my mind I WAS Wyatt Earp. When we visited Springfield, Missouri I saw myself as Wild Bill Hickok, the “prince of the pistoleers”, making the incredible shot from 75 yards with a cap and ball Navy colt in the shootout with Davis Tutt. In my mind I WAS Wild Bill Hickok, the prince of the pistoleers. When we went to Montana and visited the sight of Custer’s Last Stand, I imagined being in the 7th cavalry in that moment when the realization hit home that they weren’t getting out alive. In my mind, I was there as it unfolded. As we traveled, I knew exactly where we were going – and everywhere we went, I emulated the character of the place, the people and surroundings of the anticipated destination and brought it to life in my thoughts, actions and speech. As we traveled through the land I couldn’t wait to get ‘there’ but in the meantime I was playing it out as if it were happening NOW.
As Christians, we should approach our heavenly destination in this same way. We should be emulating the environment of our anticipated destination, bringing the place and character to life while we’re traveling through. The anticipation of heaven should fill us with childlike excitement to the point of heaven being here with us, NOW! Our thoughts, actions and speech should emulate the character of Jesus, with all of His power and authority active in us, NOW! We should imagine the environment of heaven, where there is no sickness, psychological disorders, no pride, or anything less than Jesus and speak it to life on earth, NOW! When storms arise, we should speak the calm that Jesus chastised His disciples for not doing themselves. Jesus should be our only example in everything we do, think and say NOW! Jesus taught us to pray by declaring “Your Kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!” In every situation and in every environment we encounter we should be speaking, commanding the outcome with the authority that Christ has given us. We should be emulating our destination – NOW!