What if eternity is a real thing? Like, the treasures I receive for what I do on Earth will last me for…eternity. Wouldn’t I do everything in my power to pursue what’s at stake for life on the other side?
If I was completely sold on the idea of eternity, would the problems I have right now matter as much? Would I really be so worked up over things like my studies, future career, and future husband, in this moment, if they were taking up the precious emotional energy and time that could otherwise be used towards the Kingdom?
If eternity was real, it would make most sense not to care about what others think about me. It would make most sense to surrender all these things, like, blank, for the sake of obedience.
Missionaries who drop everything and go…man, they really get it. When I think about their lives, in light of eternity, it really makes so much sense why they would!
Earlier this week, I mused on the idea of eternity as if its existence was up for debate, and realized how differently I would’ve been treating my time and walk here on earth if I was completely convinced that eternity was actually real (like, actually).
And consciously living for eternity has become such a game-changer for me.
More recently, I was talking to a friend who felt extremely indignant about their apathy for the homeless and the rest of the church’s lack of practicing what they were preaching.
“We are so caught up with how little resources we have and how little help we can be. And we tell the homeless that their life circumstances don’t matter much in light of eternity, but why don’t we believe in that? If we believed in eternity, wouldn’t we be willing to sacrifice our $12 meals out to feed them? Would we be so concerned about having all these things?”
Berkeley has a lot of homeless people… There’s a park that is only a few minutes away from where I live, called People’s Park that’s really a converted homeless sanctuary. I see at least five begging on the streets on my way to school, and I admit that it is easy to become desensitized. However, my friend’s honest confession reinforced the immediacy of eternity in the present tense. I was so caught up with asking the Lord for discernment on these issues such as helping the poor or to do the “right thing” when the issue was really the posture of my heart.
In this case, living for eternity simplifies good works into a lifestyle. However, I found that taking eternity into consideration has made obedience so much easier.
The old convictions of the past, have become commitments to live up to now. The loneliness I felt, has become less of an excuse for me to fall back on old habits. In fact, it only propelled me to seek community as hard as I could. The fear of the Lord scaled my fear of people into a difficult thing to empathize with, “But don’t you know Whose opinion really matters…?”
I realize that this simple revelation, that eternity is REAL, has given me the faith to see my life through a totally different lens. I heard about this being preached so many times, but I think it finally clicked when I realized how much I had reduced the concept of eternity into a far-off, distant coming that would be less real, the less I thought about it.
Eternity is promised. And the stakes of Eternity are now. The way that we maximize our lives here on earth as His beloved servants is to accept eternity as reality.
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4