Touching the Eternal
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 1 Corinthians 13:8
I recently had the opportunity to visit the ocean once again where I was reminded of how small I feel when I step foot in it. Whenever I look out over that incomprehensible expanse, I get a feeling that I’m connected to something infinitely bigger than me. In the water, I can’t help but feel that I’m part of a vastness that spans time and distance, connecting me to places and people around the globe. It’s probably just a silly feeling, but it’s what I experience whenever I’m in the ocean.
At times like those, I can’t help but desire to experience something bigger. I want to know purpose and meaning. With some shame, I look back to the ways in which I’ve often sought life and significance. Many times, I’ve turned to my natural appetite to find, not lasting joy, but rather, immediate gratification. Sometimes those things have been obviously destructive, but other times, they’ve simply been unsatisfying. I’m never going to find lasting joy in the futility of temporal things.
In today’s passage, Paul explained the reason for this while teaching the secret to experiencing the eternal. In it, he said that all things, knowledge, and abilities will eventually pass away. What will remain forever though, is love. When Jesus commanded us to love God above all and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39), he likewise taught us to invest in that which lasts forever.
So often, in seeking meaning, we turn to our impulsive nature, finding only temporal satisfaction. Immediate gratification though, can never truly fill us, because God made us for so much more. We were created to live in a loving relationship with him and it’s only when we’re filled with his love and sharing that love with those around us, that we truly experience the eternal – becoming who we’re supposed to be.
Daily then, we have this choice. We can remain safely on land, following our way to what we think makes us happy, embracing futility. Or, we can jump into the deep, participating in that which will last forever. When we invest in our relationship with God, we plunge into the everlasting. When we reach out to love our neighbors, we have an eternal impact on those around us. Everything else will pass away but love never ends.