Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:12, NRSV).
I am sitting here, rubbing the genie lamp. I wish that I would always act like I had a vice grip on the hope of salvation. At every moment, I will remember my confession from the tender age of nine, and remember that I was called for one thing, eternal life.
Rubbing, rubbing, rubbing…nothing. Argh. I don’t believe in genies, anyway.
So, I am left with just me. As I had to go and retrieve a discouraging piece of certified mail from the post office, yesterday, I had no reassurance of this calling. Instead, I was reassured that I hate bad mail.
I said stupid things like, “Where are you, Jesus?”, as if He was the one veering south. I had to keep assuring myself that He was there, standing next to me and I could get past these flesh-centered moments.
In fact I was so busy reassuring myself that He was there, that I could hardly reassure myself that I was bound for heaven. The man next to me, soliciting a conversation by talking to himself, was not helping me.
What did eternity have to do with my certifiably awful letter? Nothing. Truly, it has nothing to do with it at all, except to get me ready for the trip. I am confident that if I had thought of it, I would have prayed for Christ’s return, in a self-serving kind of way. Something like, “Get me out of this, instead of through it”. I do that sometimes, you know?
Instead of trusting Him through something, I just pray for rescue.
What does it look like to take hold of the eternal life that we were called for? It seems like we are creatures of the moment rather than creatures of forever.
I think that we are much less sophisticated than we understand. God tells us that His ways are not our ways. I am absolutely sure that His thoughts are not my thoughts. When we think of ourselves too highly, we feel as though we can attain a heavenly perspective, but the truth is we have no idea what it looks like.
The little things of the moment, that allow us to see God, remind us of this confession. We have to be constantly fighting through these avenues: prayer, reading His word, worshipping, loving His people (this can be a real fight sometimes), submitting, and serving. These are just a few things that tighten our grip on that prize, the eternal life.
Oh, but wait, think of when we are with Him, eternally. All we will have is a string of these moments. My closest moments with Him here, will pale in comparison to His eternal presence. I will have a heavenly heart, so it will not explode on arrival. I look forward to that.
For now, I am left with me and the unwelcome letters of this world. I know that I am called to eternity; therefore, I will make it through today, through Him.
Do you struggle with an eternal perspective, like me? Let me know.
Father, thank you for placing eternity in our hearts. Thank you for giving us ways that we can find you there. Bring us out of the moment and allow us to get a firmer grip on eternity with you. Remind us of our calling.