“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Cor 4:16-18
Ubud, natural paradise that is high up in the mountains of Bali. Tourists throng to this place every year for serenity, beauty, peace, and a little spirituality. Some come to her rivers for wild waters experience. Others just sit quietly as they meditate in her terraces of green paddy fields. Some others soak in her soft cultural music, dances, and activities that surround them. Others are busy buying beautifully crafted handiworks and delicate paintings.
I too went to Ubud with my family this December holiday. On our way up there, we were caught in a traffic jam in the town area of Ubud. For a short 1 to 2 km, we took more than an hour to travel through the one lane traffic. The roads were congested with motorbikes, cars, bicycles, and people – all wanting to experience Ubud. In the jam, I was feeling frustrated, stressed, and a little impatient. I could not believe the amount of people and vehicles on this tiny road. Yet, in the midst of my frustration, I still pushed on cheerfully because I wanted to see Ubud. I was eager to experience all the culture and nature that she could offer.
This reminded me of our own journey to heaven. It is not always smooth. In fact, it is not smooth at all. It is completely filled with traffic jams of troubles, distractions, temptations, worries, and challenges. But the scripture in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 gives us encouragement on how to push on our arduous journey. Paul says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
I wanted to see Ubud. Though I was uncomfortable, I cheerfully endured the momentary troubles of the heavy traffic I was in.
Heaven is more beautiful than Ubud. One hundred times more glorious than Ubud. A thousand times more cultural than Ubud. A million times more natural than Ubud. I want to be in that heaven. On our way up there, to this wonderful place, there will be momentary troubles and traffic jams that we will have to face while on this earth. Just as I fixed my eyes on the unseen – the beauty of Ubud, I too need to fix my eyes on the unseen eternal glory that is waiting for me. My momentary troubles will come and go, but that destination, my final destination, heaven, will always be there waiting for me.