I bought this book at the Liberate Conference in Ft. Lauderdale. (the bookstore at the conference had me drooling all over the place!) Having gone through loss, Heaven and forever is suddenly a big topic of interest for me so the book and it's description really grabbed my attention.
The book is about forever - eternity - and how our view of it impacts our lives. Most notably that we don't even think about it at all in our day to day existence. We have, as the author frequently states, "eternity amnesia". The book describes our neglect of eternity and how that neglect shapes the way we think and how we live. It was very eye-opening for me. I had no idea how vast and deep a difference having and living with a right perspective of eternity makes on your everyday life. We generally acknowledge that our understanding of forever affects our view of death and loss, but how many of us really think that it also affects our frustrations, broken relationships, or our sense of identity?
Starting from a biblical foundation and understanding of eternity, Mr. Tripp takes us on a spiritual journey to flesh out all the ways forever shapes our lives. We come to see how much we struggle when we live only with the here and now in view, and then see how much life and freedom there is in viewing life from Heaven's vantage point. This book is deeply practical because it digs down into your heart, to the beliefs that root your life and your thoughts. By focusing on the heart, you get to the heart of the problem and not just the affects of the problem. I found this book to be immensely encouraging, comforting, and challenging. I absolutely loved it and wrote down lots of quotes that really touched my heart. I rarely ever re-read books because I have so many new books to delve into, but this most certainly is a book that I want to read again. It has a message I desperately needed to hear and one I definitely need to keep hearing as I fight the constant battle of living for forever against the here and now of a broken world.
To close, I wanted to post a few of my favorites quotes from the book - this is just a sampling of the wonderful teaching in the book!
Many of us treat the here and now as a destination. Whatever our confessional theology says about eternity, at the functional level we live as if this is all there is. We live with a destination mentality instead of a preparation mentality. (p. 34)
As we begin to realize that in this broken world we cannot look for reliable hope horizontally, we are at the edge of what we were designed to do: hope in God. And as we begin to place our hope in God, we get connected to the promise of eternity, where all that is broken will be fixed and made new again. And as we do this, we look at life in a radically new way. We no longer ask the broken people, places, and things to be the source of our hope. We know they can't be, because they are broken and in need of renewal just like we are. (p.100)
When you look back on life from eternity, you begin to understand what you desperately need and what God is doing. The result is a way of living that is different than you have ever known and a rest of heart that is more steadfast than you have ever experienced. (p.204)