Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Head in the Clouds, Yet Feet on the Ground – the Perfect Balance

People are so often criticised for being aloof and having their head in the clouds, plainly not being aware of their environment, or the context around them. Then there’s the person who’s at the opposite extreme; got their nose in everyone’s business. What gives?

It appears to me that this is another ‘both/and’ construct for us to shoot towards--why not be both aloof to the world but grounded to heaven. By being both grounded with people and life in a practical sense and simultaneously with our heads in the clouds (spiritually and philosophically) we achieve both tasks of life, the theoretical and the practical.

And I think this is what the following means, partly:

“Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God”
–Colossians 3:1-3 (NLT).

Attending to our minds, keeping them sharp, is the great objective in life. Being sharp enough to know what to focus on and equally to know what not to focus on is very important. It’s probably a big part of the essence of wisdom.

The Colossians passage is speaking to us Christ-followers in a way that we’re co-resurrected i.e. with him. There’s only one sensible, logical direction for the co-resurrected to go--a continual i.e. habitual mindset at the heavenly focal point.[1] We’re pulled, impelled forward in this via the honour attached to Christ. When we focus on how magnificent that thought is we can’t help being magnetically drawn to the eternally-charismatic King of kings.

And when we take this thought further we understand that the virtuous life is grounded in ‘the now,’ not in the life to come, though we must live now from the eternal worldview, having it clearly in sight and looking back from it. Everything of God is a verb; it’s mostly about doing practical things that actually show love, joy, peace, grace, faithfulness, kindness, self-control, humility and host of other things.

Being hidden with Christ in God is ostensibly about a secret weapon--having an advantageous, privileged position, not without certain duty. We’re marked, identified. We’re set apart, not ‘better’ than others per se, but we’re different--and we ought to act differently i.e. other worldly, not worldly.

Achieving the authentic Christian life of holy living is both visionary and practical; it’s both having our head in the clouds and having our feet firmly planted on terra firma.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

[1] Fritz Rienecker & Cleon Rogers, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1976, 1980), p. 577-78.

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