“He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Eccl 3:11 NIV)
I have travelled far and wide and explored many different cultures, and one thing I have noticed is that we all have one thing in common: A thirst for making a difference in this world. However many of us have lost the hope of ever accomplishing this, and some of us have even rebelled against this cause. “Who cares anyway?” Becomes the motto.
To be truthful, none of us can truly reach our potential in this world if we focus only on the temporal and ignore the eternal. The “I’ll only believe it when I see it” philosophy is just an excuse for ignoring our true calling. After all, we can’t see the wind, but we still believe in it because we have experienced it first-hand. And it is the same with eternity. We can experience it first-hand as well, if we only take the time.
We plan our days as if they have no end. Our “to-do” lists get longer and longer, and though our possessions may temporarily satisfy us, all of this will eventually end up in the trash. Just like the toys our children played with when they were young. We put so much emphasis on our lives on this planet, but what about eternity? How will we respond to that?
Each phase of our lives serves as a period of preparation. A baby prepares itself for nine months before being born. This is the time when he/she grows and becomes familiar with the voices of those who will become his/her loved ones. A few months later, that baby learns to walk, and as the years go by, he/she learns to ride a bike and then drive a car. We take what seems to teenagers to be a life-time to prepare ourselves to be part of society, and the more training (education), the higher the responsibilities.
We should also take time to learn to appreciate the one we marry. Unfortunately, many among us terminate such relationships prematurely, because “the grass is greener on the other side of the fence”, and we never attain the satisfaction of savouring real love.
But with all we do, eternity is deliberately ignored. We live for the now, who cares for the distant future? Hey! Even thoughts of retirement are distant plans! Why should we spend time worrying about pension plans?
But one day, and it will be sooner than we think, eternity will knock at our doors. Will we be ready?
Johnny sure likes to go to Bestbuy. Being a techno geek, he saves all of his money for the latest technological innovations. He spends hours every week in that store, wishing he could purchase all of the multitude of available gadgets. As soon as a new one comes out, however, the old ones seem less than attractive. How many has he purchased already, only to throw them away a little bit later!
One day, as he turned to look at the buy-of-the-week advertisement, he locked eyes with someone he had only heard about from others: Mr. Hades himself, in person! The one who specializes in death! Johnny turned pale, his heart jumped gears, while smelly sweat from his armpits suddenly overwhelmed him. There is no way he will be able to deal with such a creature!
Johnny turned and ran from the store. He called his boss, explained his close encounter with death, and asked for his resignation. By that evening, he was no longer in Seattle. He was far away in Anchorage, Alaska. He was certain that this despicable creature would never find him there. It’s way too cold!
In the meantime Johnny’s boss went to look for Mr. Hades, and when he finally found him, he asked him bluntly: “Why did you frighten my employee?” (I think his boss used to live on Great Britain, from there this accent.).
Mr. Hades replied: “It was I who was utterly surprised. You see, tonight I am supposed to take his soul in Anchorage.”
You can run, but you can’t hide.
“Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” (Matt 25:41-43 NIV)
What are your plans for eternity? Anchorage is definitely out of the question!