“And since we are His children, we are His heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share His glory, we must also share His suffering.” (Romans 8:17 NLT)
We all have, or at least had at one time, desires for how we wanted our life to look. We wanted to contribute in some way – to be recognized, admired, respected. We wanted our lives to matter. Knowing the brevity of this life, we wanted to come to the end and believe our life made a difference.
But what then?
Unless we understand that this life is the training ground for the life to come, we’ll waste it on things that have no eternal value. Outcome has to do with perspective, but in order to have a right perspective of something, you have to know what you’re looking for.
C. S. Lewis wrote: “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing.” Having lost much of my hearing in my left ear, often in a conversation, especially in a crowded area, what someone says and what I hear are two completely different things. That happens to all of us in the “noisy” environment of our lives.
It seems the voices of our world are all clamoring to draw us in a thousand directions forcing us try to cram everything possible in the limited time we have in this life. Even when we’re on “vacation,” we’re not able to relax and enjoy ourselves.
It’s as if we, as human beings, are looking at the parade of life through a keyhole, while God is viewing it from the roof top. He sees our lives from beginning to end, while we see our lives from the perspective of this moment. Our perspective is skewed by temporal concerns, while God filters everything through its eternal value.
It’s becoming crystal clear to me that Satan’s goal isn’t always to make us bad, it’s just to keep us so busy with things, that from an eternal perspective don’t matter, we miss the life Jesus died to give us. In our desperate pursuit of “life,” we miss the only life-Giver.
That’s one of the reasons Jesus urged us to pursue the narrow way. He said in Matthew 7:14: “But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few ever find it.” Those haunting words always troubled me because I don’t want to miss it. But that’s His point. If you’re looking for it, it will open before you, but if you’re so busy looking everywhere else, you’ll miss it even if it’s right in front of you.
Many miss it because they want the paved, smooth road, not the cobblestone, dirt, or rocky road. Our orientation is to want comfort and ease, not trouble and tribulation, but that’s the only way to find the way to Life. Someone wrote: “There is no glory in being a feather-bed soldier, a man bedecked with gorgeous regimentals, but never beautified by a scar, or ennobled by a wound. All that you ever hear of such a soldier is that his spurs jingle on the pavement as he walks. There is no history for this carpet knight. He is just a dandy. He never smelt gunpowder in his life; or if he did, he fetched out a smelling bottle, to kill the offensive odor. Well, that will not make much show in the story of nations. If we could have our choice, and we were as wise as the Lord Himself, we should choose the troubles He has appointed us, and we should not spare ourselves a single pang.”
If your desired outcome is luxury and an easy life, you’ll very likely miss Jesus and His heaven. But if you invite anything that will make you more like Him and that will better prepare you for the life to come, then you’ll never take a step without His guiding hand.
Blessings, Ed 😊