Our End in View

Today I was listening to a program while doing chores around the house. The speaker was summarizing Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, a popular “self-help” book first published in 1989. The second “habit” seemed to tie into the topic of one’s purpose or calling which I had been thinking about from the Word. Covey puts it this way: “Begin with the end in mind,” in other words, think about the future outcome or result so you know what direction you are headed in.

What is our end in mind? Where are we ultimately headed?

We have our day-to-day desires. We have things to do. People to see. Responsibilities to carry out. We fill our day with happenings, activities, and diversions. Some of these seem very purposeful. Others may seem to be mostly a matter of habit. Are we drifting or moving forward? Have we heard the Lord’s call, and is that what gives us a sense of direction?

Nathaniel heard about Jesus as the one spoken of by Moses and the prophets of old: the promised Messiah. Nathaniel’s initial response was, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see”

It is in this spirit of invitation that we stop and wonder what exactly is our end in mind? Let’s take a moment now, as we may from time to time, and view our life from a greater perspective. How do we fit into the grand scheme of things? Why have we been put on this planet? Why do we have the parents we have? Why the friends? The family? The place? The capacity of body and mind?

The teaching of Heavenly Doctrine provides the big picture:

The end of creation is a heaven from the human race (Divine Providence 323).

Now . . . it follows that the Lord had this as the end in creation; and because it was the end in creation, it is the end in His Divine providence.

The Lord did not create the universe for His own sake, but for the sake of those with whom He would be in heaven. For spiritual love is such that it wishes to give what it has to another, and to the extent this is possible it is in the enjoyment of its being, its peace, and its bliss. Spiritual love derives this characteristic from the Lord's Divine love, which is infinite of such character.

It follows from this that Divine love, and consequently Divine providence, has as its end heaven consisting of people who have become or who are becoming angels. . . . Nor can it be otherwise, because from creation people have in them His image and likeness. . . (Divine Providence 27).

Something similar may happen to us as happened to Nathanael. We hear these teachings about the Lord and about heaven. Can anything good come from Nazareth? One moment we can imagine how amazing and profound it is to be created for heaven. But another moment, we cannot see how we could be angels in the making. It may take a good deal of time and energy just to get through each day here on earth, let alone be thinking of spiritual things.

The invitation stands: Come and see. If heaven is the Lord’s end for us, how are we to live and how are we to be? Can we try it out? Can we map out a plan? Can we follow Him far enough along the path to get a fair idea of what He has in store for us?

Trust in the Lord, and do good;

Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Delight yourself also in the Lord,

And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord,

Trust also in Him,

And He shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:3-5).

This sounds like a great way to begin the rest of our lives. Come and see!