“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 14b (NIV)
“Forever” is a word we have heard all our lives, and if you’re like me, you have a vague idea of its meaning “a long, long, LONG time.” It makes sense that since “forever” is much, much longer than this life, we should be more focused on things that matter eternally and less focused on temporary things.
But are we? It seems as we hit the ground running each morning, those “temporary things” gobble up our time for “just a minute,” an hour here, a half hour there, interruptions, interruptions to the interruptions, and before we know it the day is over – perhaps with numerous regrets – and we realize that we haven’t even taken the time to connect with God. If we had – and if we had done it early on – perhaps we would have had His perspective on our day. Who knows in how many ways that day may have turned out differently?
Although the concept of eternity is beyond our comprehension in this life, I want to share with you one way in which I caught a glimpse of it – probably as closely as I will ever come to grasping it without having my head explode.
I was on my way to church to teach a Sunday school class on my book BARRIERS. It was the Sunday we were examining the barrier of wrong priorities. Before I left the house I had a sudden inspiration. I grabbed a jar, and on the way to church I stopped at the public beach and scooped up some sand.
When I entered the classroom, I set the jar on the podium as people filed in. As we were discussing the things we tend to pay attention to and fill our time with and obsess about, I took a single grain of sand out of the jar. I held it up on the tip of my finger, although I was sure most of the people couldn’t see it. We talked about how small that grain of sand was, compared with all the sand in the jar. Then we considered how much smaller it was when compared with the sand on the beach where I had picked it up.
“Now,” I continued, “imagine this grain of sand compared with the sum total of all the sand in the world – beaches, sand dunes, Sahara Desert, bottom of the ocean…” I paused, as we all took in the mind-boggling concept. “And yet, this grain of sand, compared with all the sand on the planet, is still more than the sum of our lives compared with eternity.” I let the thought sink in a moment.
“Now, what was it you were worrying about?” A few chuckles rippled through the class.
PRAYER: Father, let 2018 be the year we gain Your perspective. Help us to keep our minds set on what You desire from us and to live our lives in the light of eternity, in Jesus’ Name.