We’ve been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies! The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what’s ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we’ll never settle for less.
That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. (2 Corinthians 5:5-8 The Message)
The ultra-sound tech slathered my skin with gooey gel as she moved the sensor over my breast.
Every few inches she’d stop the movement and type on the key-board in front of her.
Click click. Roll, roll. Stop. Click, click.
As she performed her duty we talked of weddings and children and cancer. I’m not sure how we got to the “c” word topic. After all, you wouldn’t want to scare your patient away. Yet there I was lying half naked on a gurney with a giant napkin covering half of me, goo all over my skin taking about a disease that takes lives every day.
Our conversation danced from discussing her own mother’s recent breast cancer scare at age seventy to the death of a colleague’s son who died of lymphoma at age twenty-three.
We continued chatting as she finished the procedure. Once done she left the room and I tried my best to get the goo off so I could dress.
The doctor came thirty minutes later to tell me all looked great. I got good news.
But what if I hadn’t?
Truthfully, nearing the fifty mark in my life, children graduating and leaving home and children getting married reminds me that I’m not getting any younger. I wouldn’t say I’m on the home-stretch, but I’m closer than I’ve ever been and that makes a person think about what’s next.
Devastating earthquakes, movie theater massacres, rioting and violence, the death of a local homeless man this week, all these things remind me of the ache of this world. Can we hear it groaning? This place is temporary.
If I died tomorrow, would I have regrets? Am I leaving a legacy of love, a bread-crumb trail to heaven for others to find?
Have I lived with purpose beyond today?
What does that look like? Whether we are nearing fifty, seventeen, or thirty something, what is the key to living beyond ourselves? Living a life that brings peace and hope everywhere it goes and leaving a taste of eternity behind?
For me that means living generously with my time, emotions, finances, and abilities.
And of course it means sharing my faith in the One who has made eternity for us possible.
Let’s not allow the troubles of this world or the joys blind us to the reason why we’re here.
We have a purpose beyond this dust.
By Gabriel Émile Édouard Nicolet (Swiss, 1856-1921) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons