I’ve been thinking a lot about the relative sense of superficiality that humanity ordinarily engages in compared to the things that are really important. I know I sound like my parents and a previous generation when I say that the older I grow the more I see how so much that we value in life is really not worth very much. I don’t mean to put a damper on genuinely enjoying all that God has blessed us with, but we need to be careful lest we make those things and experiences ends in themselves.
The things that we tend to spend our energy upon are really often so transitory and of little consequence in the larger scheme of things. This opinion is from the perspective of one who has lived into the maturing years having had a lot of amazing experiences including travel, recreation of various kinds, and the blessings of many wonderful things. In this regard life has been very good to me. I have so enjoyed the wonders of creation, the thrills of physical recreation, and studying the accomplishments of people. But if I didn’t know about the 3rd dimension as made known to us in the Bible I might easily be at a point in time in which I would be asking the question: Is that all there is?
As it is, I am beginning to see how small human interests are when compared to the larger reality of things that last forever. One of the reasons for this kind of reflection, I’m sure, is the fact that I have seen so many people of great stature suddenly gone. Last week I stood at the graveside of a man whom I didn’t know personally, but who had lived a very long time. Apparently he had a most profound influence on a whole lot of people for good over the years, but now his suited body lay in a fluffy linen-lined casket that would soon be covered with earth. We try to do everything we can to avoid the dust-to-dust image that is the end of our lives here on earth but the fact is they are very brief and soon forgotten.
But there are one or two things that transcend this superficial aspect of our lives. These two things are the Word of God that lives on forever, and people within whom dwells an eternal soul. There is a world so much larger than this one whose size and everlastingness can’t even begin to be calculated. It is a world made known to us in God’s Word, by God’s Son, and by God’s Spirit. It is a world that values worship as the supreme activity of living beings and people as eternal souls created in the image of God and redeemed by God’s great sacrifice.
What do all these reflections do to me? Well, they make me value the life that has been given to me. I so much appreciate the physical blessings that I have been given. But these reflections make me realize that all these things are relatively unimportant compared to the things that are eternal. I need to appreciate people like God does and give all my attention to engaging them to share in the eternal life that God intended. It means I need to make the most out of the time and resources that God has given in order to help the people God brings into my life.
I come to this conclusion because, in the end, it is what lasts forever which is the most important of all. I want to love with God’s love and talk about God’s truth in a way that engages the most valuable entity on earth — people.