The second of Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is “Start with the end in mind.” If you haven’t read the book, this habit focuses on knowing your purpose and what you are trying to achieve. This really makes sense when you’re running a business or overseeing an organization. You need to define what you want to accomplish, why you want to accomplish it, and how you’re going to accomplish it. But the principle applies also in all areas of life.
There are times when we act impulsively, without a careful regard for consequences. When I was younger, it seemed like a good idea to jump off a tall cabinet. I jumped, injured my left knee, and I wasn’t able to walk for several months. In high school, it seemed like a good idea to join an unregistered fraternity. I joined, went through painful initiation, and all I could show for this is a scar from a cigarette burn on my right hand. I have other embarrassing examples, but you get the point. It is always good to do something with the end in mind.
In Revelation, the last book of the Bible, the apostle John gives us a glimpse of the “end”–a picture of how eternity would look like:
After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar,“Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)
At the end of time, the Bible teaches that heaven will be populated by a great multitude: a vast crowd too great to count. Moreover, those gathered would be a diverse crowd: from every nation and tribe and people and language. In fact, they will be a rowdy and joyful bunch as they shout and worship God with a great roar! In faith and by the grace of God, I will be with this group when that eternal worship celebration finally takes place.
May I invite you to consider living your life in view of eternity. Death is not the “end” of our lives; it simply ushers us into eternity. Why am I confident that I will spend eternity with God in his heaven? Well, the Bible says, “I have written this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
I believe in Jesus. He is my Savior. He is my Lord. He promised eternal life, and I claim that promise. Would you do the same?
Begin with the right “end” in mind–an eternity with God in his heaven.