Planning a holiday has got to be one of life's greatest joys.
When life feels mundane, vacations give us something to look forward to.
Holidays are adventures which we personally design to fulfil our longings.
Some like food and wine jaunts, while others enjoy lots of scenery and immersing themselves in other cultures.
I love endless days lying somewhere peaceful with a good book in my hand (and someone by my side).
Regardless of our preference, I believe our holiday hankerings reflect something deeper.
They reveal our desire to escape into beauty.
Beauty we don't normally witness in the everyday;
Rest we don't normally experience;
And inspiration that usually proves fleeting.
Sometimes our longings for 'another world' take us by surprise.
We catch our breath and realise we're desperately aching for something much, much more.
I know this ache, and I think it’s a good thing - a God thing! - as long as I don't drift so far from the present that I lose my perspective on my earthly purpose and calling...
C.S. Lewis wrote:
"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world."
Yes, our longings are leading us to heaven, one day at a time.
2 Corinthians 4:18 talks about fixing our eyes on what is unseen, since "what is seen is temporary".
What we see now is passing by - but when we enter the new world of heaven, our desires will climax into something incredible.
God has given us so much to enjoy - and so much to do - while we're still here.
But this is just the foreword.
The book is going to be incredible.
The 'holiday' we're expecting is going to have all the bells and whistles.
But I'm not going to spend my entire life dreaming of the vacation to come.
Yes, it'll be in the back of my mind, giving me hope.
But I want to seek God in the foreword - the everyday I'm now living.
I want to make my life count as I use the gifts he's given me, exercise my creativity, and experience him fully while I'm still here.
Because if all I think about is the endless holiday, I'll lose sight of the tasks he has for me now.
The legacy he wants me to leave.
And the people he wants me to love.
So Lord, may we find our purpose in you as we long for the climax.
May we live out our unique calling while we're waiting for the end.
May we become clearer and clearer on the purpose you have for us and the plan you've laid out.
And may we wake up each morning with our eyes fixed completely on you.
Because it's in you alone that our deepest longings will end.
Alison lives in Sydney's south-west with her pastor husband and two sons. She's a journalist who recently switched to a career in marketing, and is soon to graduate from Morling College with a Bachelor of Ministry.