Taking Your Eye Off the Tiger

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I recently read a fascinating story about a tiger that was found roaming free around the Atlanta metro area. Calls to the local authorities began streaming in as residents noticed the animal wandering through several streets. I can’t imagine the fear that the community must have experienced during those hours. The relief that they must have felt when they received word that the tiger was no longer a threat and walking the streets must have been enormous.

The reason this story fascinated me was because of the questions that arise from a tiger on the loose. Why was a tiger roaming Atlanta? How did this dangerous animal get there? After the tiger was no longer wandering around, these questions became the focus of the community, and the mystery took only a few hours to solve.

It was discovered that the tiger escaped while being transported from Tampa, Florida, to Memphis, Tennessee. The truck transporting the tiger made an overnight stop in Atlanta where the animal slipped out of its enclosure. Yikes!

The part of the story that I love to think about is that the caretakers woke up the next morning and drove the truck from Atlanta to Memphis, and they had no idea that their precious (and dangerous) cargo was no longer with them. Just imagine the panic that they must have immediately felt when opening the doors to the back of the truck and finding it empty!

How could they not have noticed something so important? Why weren’t they paying attention? They just kept driving down the road oblivious to the reality behind them and only saw what was directly in front of them.   

This past weekend, Ben talked about heaven, and he asked the question, “How often do you think about heaven?” Many of us answer that question with the same mindset as the caretakers in the story. We don’t pay much attention to it or give it much thought. We stay focused on moving forward with the day to day and the here and now. We take our eyes off of eternity, just like the caretakers took their eyes off of the tiger.

We are currently in the series “Better”, and we have been learning that Jesus makes life better and makes us better at life. From Ben’s message, we learned that intentionally thinking about heaven can make our lives better as well.

John 14:1-6
1“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. 4And you know the way to where I am going.”  5“No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”  6Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.

In John 14, we see that heaven is a real place with a real purpose. Jesus is there preparing for us, and when everything is ready, he will come for us. Because of this truth, we also know that our today is not our forever. Jesus has a better eternity for us, an eternity in heaven where he is in control.

Over the next four days in the LivingItOut, we will be looking more in depth at the truths that we learn about in John 14:1-6. Heaven is real, Jesus is the way to heaven, he is in control, and today is not my forever are truths that we need to never lose sight of.

How often do you think about heaven?

How does thinking about heaven help you?

Thank you for making my life better. Thank you for providing me with the hope of heaven and the way there through your Son, Jesus. I pray that over the next four days as I focus on the truths in John 14, I will develop a new perspective. I pray that you help me focus on eternity and not always on the now that is directly in front of me.  Amen.

This post was written by Ben Bockert, the Director of the LivingItOut Bible Study.

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2 replies
  1. Ben Snyder
    Ben Snyder says:

    That tiger story!!! Ha! And what a great example. I am working on “not leaving heaven behind” each day and instead remembering that Heaven Helps Me. Thanks Bockert! (I didn’t put your first name because some people might think I am thanking me 🤣🤣)

  2. Paula Schoeff
    Paula Schoeff says:

    This poignant story of the tiger has been with me for two days now. I agree with you, imagine the surprise and the gasps when the transporters opened the door! Gosh, I do not want to be surprised when I go to heaven. I don’t want to be stopped in my tracks and gasp — it is real! I am going to use the next few weeks to learn more about heaven and what the word says about it. I find that Jesus doesn’t often say this is real — really — or I would have told you so. Thank you for this story Ben. It hit the mark.

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