Thursday, August 8, 2013

Heading Downstream

Living fish may go with the stream at times, but dead fish must always do so. There are plenty of such in all waters: dead souls, so far as the truest life is concerned, and these are always drifting, drifting, drifting as the current takes them. Their first inquiry is — what is customary? God’s law is of small account to them, but the unwritten rules of society have a power over them which they never think of resisting. ~Spurgeon in "Flowers From a Puritan's Garden"

There is a steady flow from our culture and our world that would have us surrender to the current. We could simply relax and enjoy the view as we drift further downstream. It is said that ignorance is bliss and this could not be truer than on this lazy river. Often, we do not know where we are headed. We do not know what lies at the end of the river. We don't know what sea we are floated towards. But we let go and "go with the flow".

We have an incredibly short time on this Earth. The average human lifespan accounts for less than 4% of the time that has passed since Christ was born. The fortunate among us will live to see a few previous generations leave this world, replaced by a few new ones. They will see the rise of new ways of thinking, of new philosophies, of new gods, and of new pleasures previously unimagined. But each these will pass away, as will every person that saw them come and saw them go.

And yet the scriptures speak frequently of the eternal things. These are things without any lifespans. They will exist forever. The scriptures insist that we are among those things. That we, despite having lifespans in the temporal, will last beyond in the eternal. We are not God, but we are like him. Though we have not always been, we will always be from this point forward as beings with souls that transcend the temporary.

So given what we know about our forever home and this temporary residence, why do we still insist on chasing after pleasures and pastimes with no eternal significance? The only joy worth pursuing is found in the soul-satisfying pleasure of knowing and savoring the Messiah, who conquered the very source of limit in our lives: death.

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