Losing My Beach Ball Forever
They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. Revelation 20:4
If you’ve been reading, you know I recently took my parents, wife, and children to my favorite childhood vacation destination, a lake in the Black Hills of South Dakota. While there, I remembered a story about losing my beach ball. I was probably four years old, when we were playing at the beach one day. It was a little windy, so my mom put a towel over my beach ball to keep it from blowing away. Someone picked up the towel though and my ball blew out into the lake. I burst into tears, knowing my beloved beach ball was gone forever. In an act that astounded me, my mother simply ran over to the other side of the lake – it’s a very small lake – picked up the ball and brought it back.
Every time I go back, I’m reminded of how small that lake is, but also how big it was in my four-year-old mind. I was a child, and I had a child’s perspective. Though I now understand the finiteness of that lake, I still find myself feeling a little like that child when I read the book of Revelation. In it, John wrote of events that span history. In today’s passage, he described a future thousand-year reign of Christ on Earth. I have difficulty comprehending such things. I’ve been alive 50 years, so a thousand years, is like an ocean across which I cannot see or comprehend.
As far as my childhood mind was from my mother’s though, the distance between my intellect and God’s is infinitely greater. I’m still profoundly short sighted. When I can’t find my car keys, my day is ruined. When a friend relapses, I think they’re hopelessly lost forever. If my kids have some normal struggle, I think their life is a disaster. If I choose though, I can step back and attempt to see things from God’s point of view. If I try to look at things from a grand-scale perspective, it puts my little life problems into a different context. Suddenly, having a hectic day at work doesn’t need to ruin my mood.
Faith is about believing in that which we cannot see or comprehend. I can’t see God and I struggle with believing in John’s end-of-the-world prophecies. Just because I can’t grasp these things though doesn’t mean they’re not very real. In choosing faith, I step out of my own finite perspective and choose to accept that God is infinite. Daily, I must try to see things as he wants me to see them. I may not be able to completely comprehend God, but with practice, I can step out of my childlike perspective.