“The kingdom of God has come near..." Mark 1.15
Those who do not believe in an after-life must make the most of this life because it is all there is. Those who dream exclusively of heaven are often inclined to give up on this life altogether. In contrast to both, Christians believe that God in Christ visited the earth to initiate the New Creation, which means that this life is already adorned with the first-fruits of the life to come.
It is precisely because we look forward to Jesus' return, bringing heaven to earth in completion of what he began that we live hopefully. And it is precisely because of the continuity between this world and the next that we cherish the life we already have.
In the meantime, we do not occupy a vacuum, nor are we lolling around in heaven's waiting room. We are being shaped and guided and mobilised by the Holy Spirit, as we grow into our vocation to be co-heirs with Christ in his eternal Kingdom. In the community of faith everything matters, nothing is wasted, we tread on holy ground and we dwell among God's anointed.