While I was in Drivers Ed, I learned a valuable lesson. Where your eyes go, the car goes. We're playing the long game here on Earth. In the routine of our daily lives, thinking about where we'll be in the life after this one can be easily overlooked. Yet, at the same time, our actions and choices within our daily routine point to where we're oriented. I've never once been happy as a result of committing a sin, yet sometimes I find myself in a cycle of decisions leading me further away from the life that God has planned for me.
The design of the human mind is intriguing. Although intellectually we can grasp that sin is harmful and doesn't lead to happiness, we still choose it on a regular basis. There are many theological explanations, but isn’t it interesting in and of itself that the human mind, without morals or guidance, will tend toward making decisions based on impulsive wants.
The challenge of the Christian life is to overcome this self-centeredness. The challenge is to respond with love when your wife is annoying you, to respond with love when you're tired but your children need something from you, and to respond with love when another person deeply offends you.
Heaven is real, and so is Hell. When standing in the Confession line it's easy to say where we want to end up. Yet, in the moment, when we're out in the world confronted by temptation, our decision making process can become much more cloudy.
Perhaps the greatest irony is that in order for us to have true happiness, we have to reject things that present themselves as something good or beneficial for us. Sin always dresses itself in the robes of goodness, yet when unmasked its true destruction is revealed. By saying no to sin and denying ourself a passing pleasure, we choose to embrace and accept the lasting happiness that following God's Will brings.
In the routine of our daily lives, we need to do things that keep us oriented to our destination of choice. Like our eyes in the car, if we look towards Hell, we'll end up there. But if we keep our eyes fixed on the eternal good, on the fruits of Heaven, we'll surely end up there, right where we belong.