Like the Israelites in the desert
"Heaven starts here, but it doesn't end here. We just get faint glimpses of it now and then. If we postpone the thought of heaven until the moment we die, we will be very much like the Israelites during their wanderings in the desert. They were at one time within about eleven days of the promised land. It took only three weeks for them to make the journey from Egypt to the promised land, but because of their disobedience, their failures, their backsliding, and their rebellion against Moses, it took them forty years to get into the promised land. That forty years represents a pilgrimage in the lives of most of us. We make progress, and then we slip back. Thank heavens we have a merciful Lord who puts up with us and forgives us seventy times seven. Therefore time is necessary in order to gain heaven, but the lapse of time itself does not bring me to heaven. What brings me to heaven is how I live, how I die."