Friday, August 8, 2014

The Limits of the Temporal

How did the last day of our beach vacation come so quickly? It seems we just arrived. I barely had time to soak in all the joy of seeing my son and daughter-in-law again, and they are already gone. How does joy come and go so quickly? I thought about that as I sat in my kayak looking over the magnificent expanse of the ocean, with all its seeming permanence. It is a delusion. Nothing on this earth will last. Vacations obviously (and tragically!) don't last, and neither will we. The earth will pass away as well, the Bible so cheerfully informs us. We would be foolish to put too much hope in impermanence.

That is not to say we should not enjoy it while we can. I love the ocean, the song of the waves, the screech of the sea gulls, the sting of the hot sand, the soothing breeze. And I go through terrible withdrawal when I am forced to leave it. But I think God is wise in not letting us settle too comfortably in the joy of this world. He pries our fingers loose from that which is temporal. I suspect it is the only way most of us would let go, and be willing to grasp the eternal. I cannot imagine something more beautiful than sitting with my family by the ocean, but my imagination should never be the standard that limits God.

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


  1. Aww man, there ya go...bringing tears to my eyes as I realize hHe had to pry my fingers from around my dear son...I do thank Him for ALL He has blessed me with...even the sadness that grips me when seasons of life, vacations, a lovely dinner with friends, a few hours with a dear sister, comes to an end...

    1. i am so with you. i hate the prying my fingers from what i love....