Making Sense of Living
Approaching his own death, ex-Beatle George Harrison reckoned with an unusual sage-like quality ... all things in life can wait, but the search for God cannot.
There is a finality and hopelessness to all lives that must be dealt with.
There is a passing from life that is guaranteed.
There is a finitude to life that cannot be escaped.
Life's successes, strivings, pleasures and abundance all fade. Vigour turns into lethargy and good health into weariness. Ageing never escapes an individual and the grave refuses to be satisfied. Obscurity replaces fame as surely as death replaces life. God is both the present and final constant to life.
Ecclesiastes commands the young reader (12:1-8)) to judge their days in the light of a troubling future. They are to take the long view of life where tomorrow must be considered ahead of just today. This scene is the road less travelled and the scene less gazed upon by youth. Yet with both wealth and fame George Harrison still knew that he did not have it all.
King David understood well George Harrison's counsel in Psalm 39:4-6:
Show me, O LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man's life is but a breath. Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro: He bustles about, but only in vain; he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
There is actually a consideration of beyond life while living this life that complements life today. To grasp at the eternal is to enhance the temporal. It is better for life now to hold to a God of love, forgiveness and grace, than to pass through this life without knowing Him. It is far superior to live life now as if this life is NOT all there is.
It is the desires of my eyes that invite me to give meaning to life; yet my eyes are only to give paths to my life, not meaning to it. The appeal of Heaven is to lift my eyes to Him who transcends an earthly life that the heart may follow. George Harrison knew so well that the heart follows what I attach meaning to. Finally he reasoned that what I give honor to will not retain honor, and all that I grace with my effort will always decay. (Hmm ... the Psalmist actually knew these three millennia before George Harrison.)
A corporate high-flyer once knowingly reflected:
I wish someone had told me that when I get to the top of the ladder there is still nothing there.
The meaninglessness and the hollowness of life is only ever resolved in the value of a purposeful eternity. The emptiness of earth is only ever to point to the fullness of heaven.
If the things of this earth do not satisfy it is because I was made for the things of heaven.
The conclusion of the matter
The quality of my action on earth is measured on the day of judgement. That which I have offered meaning to, sought and given, bought and sold, found and lost and that which I have labored for and thought will all be measured, even the very words from my lips.
God will assess my attitude to the meaningless for this will reveal my heart to the eternal. How I deal with the meaningless is how I will receive the eternal.
The manner of life I walk on the path to death secures the manner of life I live on the path eternal. Don't exchange the present for the future, the future will last a lot longer.
God trusts each of us with the little on earth before He gives us the riches of heaven. It is so foolish to simply pursue that which fails and then to find I have lost the only good that lasts forever.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Ps 90:12)
Life is fleeting - eternity isn't!