When you’re 9 years old, you don’t want to think a lot about the future. That’s why it sometimes doesn’t do any good to explain to my son Steven the long-term advantages of struggling through long division and practicing the piano. While I’m trying to convince him that he needs to be preparing for his future, his mind is set on enjoying the present.

All of us have that tension in our lives. Like children basking in the freedom of a summer day, we would prefer to spend our time enjoying life—playing, engaging in recreation, even savoring the joys of working at a job we love—instead of doing the hard work of preparing for our future.

If you have put your wholehearted faith in Jesus Christ to save you, you have the assurance of a future with Him in heaven. That might cause you to sit back and relax, thinking that the rest of life is just a vacation. Yet that’s not what the Bible teaches.

In Philippians 2:12, Paul said to “work out” our salvation. And in 2 Peter 1:8, the call is to add godly character qualities to our lives. As we do these things, we are preparing for the time when we will be with our Lord.

Coasting is not an option. Let’s prepare ourselves for service here on earth and for eternity with God in heaven.