I have missed my calling. When I stay in a monastery there is a ‘deep calls to deep’ within me (Psalm 42). What is it about the monastic lifestyle that draws me? Community. Shared lives. Silence, deep silence, the silence of centuries of meditation in this place. The Cross. Being set apart and ‘holy unto the Lord’ (Hebrews 10.10). The rhythm of life, punctuated with bells, rising early, the freshness of the morning air, combined singing, combined prayer, laughter and deep peace. A strong devotional life, devotion to Jesus. The purity of heart here. The simple lifestyle, owning little, being content with less. It’s a foretaste of life in the heavenly realm, maybe (Revelation 21).
I loved the Rick Warren book: A Purpose Drive Life, but in that book he made a negative comment about the monastic life which bothered me at the time, and it bothers me now. Something about being too heavenly minded, maybe, I can’t actually remember what he said. But, having seen the purity of heart of brothers and sisters devoted to the Lord in this way, and the effectiveness in their local communities, I am convinced in the Lord’s good plan there is a place for this lifestyle. I have been blessed here.
Our hearts or minds are to be continuously set on these ‘things above’ where Christ is in heaven, not on earthly things. The popular notion of Christians being ‘so heavenly minded they’re of no earthly good’ is a myth. On the contrary, most of us are so earthly minded we are of no heavenly or earthly good. CS Lewis said, ‘It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this one.’ God commands us to be heavenly minded, and doing so will give us the perspective and motivation to live on earth as he has commanded us.
Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above—where Christ holds the highest position. Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things. You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is your life. When he appears, then you, too, will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3.1-4