You know, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the ways we should differ from the rest of the world. Not to be cliché, but… “In it, not of it.” Well. The more you try to do that, the more you realize that it is a lot easier said than done – essentially, because we simply cannot do anything on our own. But even the act of admitting that truth – that we are incapable – is something that requires an amount of humility, which we also (surprise, surprise) do not have on our own accord: we need God to step in and strip away everything else that “defines” us, and show us what is really inside… And we should actively seek this! We need the humility to ask for the humility that we don’t have. Ugh… that’s dizzying, isn’t it? Oh man… I’m going to move on before my brain implodes.
Well, before I got hung up on that, I was thinking about how living separately really rests on one fundamental truth that we have to strive to carry with us through every task, whether significant or menial. Rather, to ask God to impress on our hearts… We must not lose sight of eternity. That’s it. We must keep our eyes set on what is to come. For that is what our faith rests upon: the knowledge that this life is not, in fact, all that there is, and that we’ve horribly messed up since the beginning of our existence. We’re running in one direction, and in the midst of running, we look around and realize that oh, by the way, we’re actually going the wrong way, and we have been for a while (forever, actually) and we’ve been completely indifferent the entire time. We need a Savior! But even this is not something we are remotely capable of acknowledging on our own. Still, God, in His great mercy, reveals to us our own hearts, and gently picks us up and sets us apart; and that’s where we start living differently. We set our eyes on what is to come, unlike the rest of the world’s philosophy to “live in the moment.” Yes, we should indeed be aware and conscious of what is around us, ready and watching for opportunities to learn, and to teach. We are to be focused, but not oblivious.
If we simply look towards eternity, we are able to see everything else much more clearly. Paul describes it as running a race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We run in such a way as to get the prize. We keep our eyes set ahead, and suddenly everything else falls into place. The hurdles that seemed impossible now, suddenly, seem insignificant. The tasks that we are to accomplish, things in ourselves that we are to change, everything that once seemed so hard and painful… it seems such a small price to pay, because there is so much more! Wow, that’s an understatement.
Because I have been rescued from certain death, I can now look forward to eternity. I can anticipate with joy the life that awaits me. And because I can look forward to that, my simple worries of now, today, this year don’t matter nearly as much as I make them seem like they do. Because they don’t matter (rather, won’t matter), I can surrender them to Someone who can handle them much better than I could anyways. Yes... it's hard. Life gets in the way a lot of the time. Sometimes, I look around and find myself fighting back. But the wonder of it all is that my Redeemer looks at me with the same patience and love that He did four years ago when he first captured my heart. His unconditional love is just that... unconditional, unwavering, beautiful, patient, merciful, unfathomable.