What if we were meant to live forever, and life on earth was a mere sliver of time, tacked on to the front end of eternity? What if this life was just a drop, about to be swallowed up in the ocean of eternity, a tiny speck in the universe of forever? How would we live?
Maybe we’d worry less about the decades passing, the threat of wrinkles and grey hair, the dread of old age. Maybe we’d see the sand left in the hourglass and our heart would beat faster because we are that much closer to our true destiny.
What if death did not mean lights out and darkness, but an even brighter, blazing light? What if death was not final sleep, but rather, the true awakening? What if dying was not slipping away, but a slipping into place, a square peg in a square hole a last? What if death was only the door to forever?
What if we woke up every morning and went to bed every night thinking about the forever on the other side of the door? Maybe we would be better able to do all things without arguing and complaining, to let bygones be bygones, to live and let live. Maybe we’d stop pointing out flaws, magnifying mistakes, rolling our eyes, and in general making life more miserable than it has to be. We only pass this way once, and it’s all over in a moment.
Maybe we wouldn’t care so much about the setbacks in our job or health, the inconveniences in this life. No matter the hardship, against the measure of eternity, how long does it actually last?
We have small troubles for a while now, but these troubles are helping us gain an eternal glory. That eternal glory is much greater than our troubles. So we think about what we cannot see, not what we see. What we see lasts only a short time, and what we cannot see will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
What if this brief life is everything about becoming like Christ, allowing the difficulties, the obstacles, to shape us? What if each of us is born into a particular set of circumstances meant to change us in a way unique to us?
What if we really are like clay in the Master Potter’s hands? Can we say to him, Why did you make me like this? Why do you allow this to happen to me? Why did you give or take away? Why are some conceived only to die and some allowed to live for a hundred years? How do we know what we need?
What if God takes each lump of clay and applies the pressure of his thumb or forefinger at certain times and in certain places because he is moving us toward his vision for us, his very own creation? He knows where there should be a spout or handle, whether we must be spread thin or pulled tall. He knows if we should be notched or smooth, and he provides the pressure accordingly.
What if we’re a bride being prepared for her wedding and for the happily-ever-after? We won’t begrudge standing still for the wedding gown fittings, while fabric is gathered and tucked and held by pins. We don’t mind being turned this way and that, being examined from every angle. It’s okay when preparations cause us to miss a meal or leave us sweaty and tired. We are willing to live with less now so we can have more later. We happily endure because we know this phase doesn’t last forever. We are too busy thinking about what is to come.
What if we were meant to live forever? How would you live?