Nothing Lasts Forever
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen. Revelations 1:7
As a child, I remember feeling as if I’d always be a child. I wanted to be grown up and it simply felt as if I’d never get there. Summers lasted forever, and the school year was even longer. To a 10-year-old, another 10 years until adulthood was a lifetime. Looking back now, at age 50, the last decade seems to have passed in a blink. My own children, who were kids just yesterday are now in college. Time marches inexorably on and though it once felt like it, nothing lasts forever.
In my addiction, I had this belief that I’d find recovery someday. I hated what I was doing, and I knew I didn’t want my entire life to be spent in addiction. I planned to get sober, eventually. I knew I didn’t have forever, but I lived like it. I just thought things would continue the way they always had and that I’d find transformation in my own time. Then, my day of reckoning suddenly arrived. My life came crashing down as it was made painfully clear to me that my life was not going to continue as it had. Nothing lasts forever.
In today’s passage, John reminded us of this. As he set the tone for the book of revelation – prophecy about the future – he foretold that Christ would one day return to Earth. Life, as we’ve known it, won’t continue indefinitely. One day, Jesus will come back, interrupting, and ending our current way of life – and not everyone will be happy about it.
Even if you don’t buy into Christianity or the end-of-the-world predictions in the book of Revelation, there’s an inescapable message here. Nothing lasts forever. We live day to day as if we have all the time in the world. Often, we spend our life energy on the trivial as truly important moments simply slip by, never to return. If we knew life would end in a week, what would we abandon? To what would we cling? We may spend years never contemplating the end, but the end will come for all of us. Nothing lasts forever.
Except God does. God is eternal and it is only in knowing him that we can find authentic life, which does last forever. As we rush through our daily busyness, we often ignore the truly important. John’s words though, are a reminder that life won’t always continue as it has. It will end, and we must take the time now to assure that we’re spiritually prepared for it.