By: Dennis Bates
It has been said that life is a journey, not a destination, and even though that sounds a little New Age for some Christians, I think it has some merit.
There are stages in our lives that are hard to refute. We are preschoolers, children, teenagers and ultimately adults. Once we reach the age of majority there are stages in that part of our lives also. We can look at our adult lives simply. For example, there are the working years and the retirement years. A slightly more complex breakdown shows the single years, the married years, the years raising children, and the empty nest years.
However you chose to break it down, we all go through distinct periods as the years mount up, and some periods seem better than others, at least until we get through them and realize, as confusing as the last period in our life might have been, we were younger then, and maybe we didn’t take advantage of everything we could have.
Regardless, I think the key to a vital life is to embrace the stage we are in and get as much out of it as we can. If we’re young and the children’s activities seem to have a strangle hold on our time, we should revel in those activities. All too soon both the activities and the children will be gone and we’ll wonder why we didn’t enjoy them while they were here.
My mother use to constantly remind me not to wish my life away. We all do it. I wish it were spring; I hate winter. I wish I was old enough to get my driver’s license; I wish I was out of college; I can’t wait until my next vacation, I’m looking forward to retirement, and before we know it, all of our wishes have been granted and we find ourselves sitting alone in an empty room asking ourselves, now what?
Always wanting to be somewhere else negates where we are now, and it keeps us from fully appreciating and enjoying the present. I don’t think that’s what God intended. Certainly heaven is our goal as Christians, but I have never liked nor agreed with the words of the old hymn:
“This world is not my home; I’m just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue!
The angles beckon me, through Heaven’s Open door,
and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore!”
God made this world just as he made me and He made it for a reason. This world IS my home for now. It may not be my ultimate destination any more than the house I live in is where I will live forever, but it is my home at this stage in my life. He put me here at this moment, and I believe He put me here for a purpose. My proper response is to find and fulfill that purpose with His grace as my guide and my strength.
God’s eternity doesn’t begin in the future; it always was, is now and will be forever. And by finding our place in that eternity now, we affirm our belief in eternity and in God. Anything less than that is wishing my life and His purpose away.