Things Eternal…

My heart and prayers go to all those affected by yesterday’s bomb blast in Boston.  It has been a timely reminder of how fleeting life is and how no one knows which day is their last. I pray that God gives each of us the grace to live our lives in realization of those realities.

On April 14, 1912, at 10:00 p.m. the Titanic crashed into an iceberg and in four hours, it sank, leaving hundreds dead. According to the stories, one woman in a life boat asked if she could go back to her room. She was given only three minutes to do so and she hurried down the corridors, already tilting dangerously, through the gambling room piled ankle deep with money. In her fancy estate room were treasures waiting to be taken, but instead she snatched up three oranges and hurried back to the boat. One hour earlier she would have naturally chosen diamonds over oranges but, in the face of death, values are seen more clearly.

 “To have true worth, life’s brevity must be invested in things eternal.”

Taking a cue from the lady in the story, in the face of eternity and life’s brevity, values become better defined.  What I’ve discovered is that each day is a lifetime in miniature. Living with eternity in view all boils down to how I live my life every single day, 365 days a year. We need to consciously decide to live with clarity about matters that are truly important, as those things will ultimately touch what is eternal. Why are we making sub optimal decisions as though there is no eternity?

Let’s think about it a little, the brief time I spend here is only to position me in eternity. Whatever I do at each point here on earth has an eternal consequence and it is only in eternity that it will be played back. Each of my actions and choices here on earth will serve to either jeopardize or enhance my position in eternity. The more I consider the aforementioned; God seems to be requiring me to “daily focus on Kingdom priorities and eternal realities.” So that brings me to living for more than just myself. For life to be filled with joy and meaning, it has to be lived with purpose. That purpose has to be bigger than you, greater than your plans, truly going beyond ‘what shall I eat, what shall I drink and wherewithal shall I be clothed?’ Only what God counts worthy will you find ultimately worthwhile.

So important is the path to eternity that Jesus advises you to “stockpile treasure in Heaven where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious isn’t it? The place where your treasure is is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” Matthew 6.20-21 (The Message). Jesus knew that your eternal destiny is determined by your direction, and your direction is drawn toward what you value and count worthwhile to give your time, talent, and treasure on a consistent basis.

I was speaking with a friend two days ago and she shared how clawing back on some activities in this season had helped her quality of life, time with her husband and family and significantly improved her relationship with God. This may be a good time to examine what we spend time doing, how does it count towards eternity? What do we need to claw back on and what do we need to dedicate time to? Are we truly making decisions with due consideration of their eternal consequences?

I’d leave us with the words of Rick Warren

“Life on Earth is a temporary assignment…To make the best use of your life; you must never forget two truths. First, compared with eternity, life is extremely brief. Second, Earth is only a temporary residence. You won’t be here long, so don’t get too attached. Ask God to help you see life on Earth as he sees it… In order to keep from becoming too attached to this Earth, God allows us to feel a significant amount of discontent and dissatisfaction in life—longings that will never be fulfilled on this side of eternity. We are not completely happy here because we’re not supposed to be! Earth is not our final home, we were created for something much better…You will not be in Heaven two seconds before you cry out, “Why did I place so much importance on things that were so temporary? What was I thinking? Why did I waste so much time, energy and concern on what wasn’t going to last?”

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