In saying that we should neither seek nor set our minds on “things on the earth” he is not suggesting that we refuse to mow the grass or take out the garbage or play with our kids or be punctual in our appointments. He is denouncing a carnal mindset, a perspective that is fixated on this world system to the exclusion of the kingdom of God.
That may strike you as a silly question, but some have honestly wondered in view of what the apostle says in Colossians 3:1-4. There he exhorts the believer to “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above,” said Paul, “not on things that are on earth.”
Is there in Paul’s perspective and language an encouragement to Christians that they ignore social injustice today in anticipation of the vindication of righteousness in the age to come? Is Paul suggesting that we carelessly exploit the environment now, knowing that we shall one day live in the pristine glory of a New Heavens and New Earth? The answer to these and related questions that reflect a metaphysical dualism between spirit and matter, between heaven and earth, is a resounding NO!
The terms used by Paul (“above” and “on the earth”) are not spatially literal but point to two opposing ethical realms, indeed two antithetical world systems (with corresponding antithetical worldviews). In saying Christ and God are “above” does not mean they are absent from the earth or uninvolved with what happens in the world in which we live. Far less is our heavenly Father unconcerned with this cosmos, given the fact that his purpose is to redeem it and deliver it from the curse (see Romans 8:18ff.). (Don’t ever forget that we will live on a redeemed, new EARTH for all eternity!)
To seek and think about “things above” does not mean we are to ignore and neglect the daily affairs and responsibilities of life in the here and now. Rather, Paul is using directional categories to make a qualitative distinction.