A Glimpse of the Eternal
Friday, July 8th
You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning, and the heavens are the work of your hands; they will perish, but you remain… you are the same, and your years will have no end. Hebrews 1:10-13
The ethereal language of Hebrews’ opening chapter prods me to attempt a more eternal perspective. My vision is so shortsighted, being limited to today and maybe tomorrow. When I read verses like this however, I imagine looking at life from 40,000 feet and suddenly little things seem very little indeed. I do not want to be distant and removed from the realities of daily life, but I do want to focus on that which truly matters.
My appetite, my flesh nature, says what I want right now is what matters. God however, insists that money, stuff and donuts do not really bring authentic meaning to my existence. It is not that I cannot find any pleasure in those things; it is just that the temporary is not the purpose of my life.
When I can attain a higher perspective, I can see that God has a plan that far exceeds my vision. I can see that I dare not limit an infinite God with my finite mind. There is enough grace for everyone. No one is beyond his redemption. What I perceive to be a catastrophic failure in someone’s life may be the beginning of God’s redeeming work.
A friend’s recent fall exposed this reality. Back in jail, he was contemplating the years he was going to be incarcerated. I was so saddened (appropriately so) by his fall, focusing only on the pain of his circumstances. I could not see the big picture until he began speaking of how God was working through his self-inflicted misery. I of course, cannot see the end of that story, but I believe in the one who can.
The temporal view says my friend is lost. The eternal perspective realizes it is not over yet. The temporal view says I should eat, drink and be merry. The eternal perspective sees that fleeting pleasures are not the goal of my life. We can participate in events, the consequences of which will reverberate forever. We can invest in lives in a way that will actually matter in 1,000 years.
It may be difficult for me to see the eternal, as the temporal continually seduces my gaze, but my vision becomes much clearer when I focus on God and not self.