Dave Lukas - Lessons for Hannah
385: Lessons For Hannah - What is Heaven?
Hello Misfit Nation! Welcome to another edition of "Lessons for Hannah!"
Many years ago, I introduced a new format that alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
Lessons for Hannah are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at email@example.com. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
This will not be a long episode – in fact, it’s only a few minutes, but it may be one of the most important lessons I share with you. You’ve asked me a question several times over the years and I’m given you a pretty standard answer. I recently was spurred to think deeper about the question by several events.
First, the question is straightforward, “Dad, what is heaven?”
Now, the typical answer is something along the lines of “A place where we will go to live in for eternity in happiness surrounded by our loved ones. It is a place of no pain, no sadness. A place where we are a perfect version of ourselves and the best we can be. It is hard to imagine how amazing it will be and we probably cannot fathom everything that waits for us there.”
While I believe there is a lot of accuracy in that statement, I recently realized that heaven is much more and we may be able to get a little taste of it here on earth. And if you are listening or watching this and saying, “Ok, isn’t this a show for entrepreneurs and people looking to better themselves? Do we have to go into these topics?” Well, the answer is yes, first because I am sharing this for Hannah, but second because in just a bit, I am going to share how this relates to entrepreneurship and improving yourself.
But, back to the question, “Dad, what is heaven?” We were recently listening to a message from our pastor where this topic came up and their answer to the question was so simple and succinct, it made me think deeply. First, the answer was right, “Heaven is the eternal presence of God and the opposite of Heaven is the eternal absence of God.” After all, what is Heaven, if not for God’s eternal surrounding presence.
As I thought more deeply on this, I realized that while there is no “heaven on earth,” we can do well to prepare ourselves and live as best we can into one on our journey. We do this by having a relationship with God and more importantly Jesus because he is the vehicle with which God sent to pave the way for us to go to Heaven. I asked myself, “Can I live a better life by doing all I can to keep God and Jesus’ presence around me here on earth?” The answer is yes. And then I thought about what could be the closest thing to Heaven on earth. To me, it is a few things. First, it is that deep relationship with the presence of God and Jesus in our lives that we should seek. Second, it is living every moment with our loved ones and ones we care about to the fullest. And third, it is putting our effort and focus into work that not only fulfills us in some way, but makes a difference for those around us.
The first two are pretty straightforward – continuously seek and grow your relationship with the almighty and cherish every moment with your loved ones. But, the third to me is all about entrepreneurship. To me, from a work standpoint, entrepreneurship is the closest we can come to Heaven on earth. God created us to be free and live in his image. He is the original entrepreneur! Sadly, we failed being free and living in his image with the mistakes made in the garden of Eden and for most of human history we had lost that freedom in some way or another.
With the creation of the United States came an opportunity to unleash entrepreneurship and create a freedom that had not been seen up until that point. That may be why the founders called the creation of the Unites States an act of divine intervention. All of a sudden, a lowly factory worker could become the founder of a company and elevate their status. A serf working under a feudal lord in Europe, with enough courage, could leave everything behind and live better than the lord they worked under. There are countless examples of how entrepreneurship unleashed the human spirit and potential and that continues today. In fact, there was more progress made for humankind in the last 200 or so years than the 5000 before it.
So, while we must prepare for the true heaven and the ever-presence of God by seeking it out all that we can in our lives while on earth, we can also, maybe, possibly, experience a taste of it through entrepreneurship and fulfilling our potential. I also contend that in doing so, we will improve ourselves and become the best versions of our earthly selves. And that is the big realization I had in thinking about this topic – we have the opportunity to create a tiny slice of heaven on earth and we should strive to do so in those 3 ways.
Hannah, the answer to your question is just that. Welcome the presence of God every day and work on your relationship with Jesus. if you are lucky, you will get a taste of heaven throughout life and then get its fullness when you pass on into eternity. While on earth, live into your potential and do everything you can to make a difference for those around you – I believe entrepreneurship is the best vehicle for that, but of course will support you in whichever path you choose to be your best.
I love you,