Taking another moment…
For some reason or another, I got back to thinking about the mechanics of life again today. No, I don’t mean the guys that get your car going again after you’ve plowed a quarter mile through swampland. I mean life, how we got where we are and how we get where we’re going. Perhaps it will make no sense, or perhaps it only makes sense to me. Could I be so enlightened?
Mostly I’ve been thinking about “existing”. And what it means. I haven’t dusted off Webster’s lately, but I’m operating under the assumption that it mean “to be”. You think about life. “To live.” To react to your experiences. To change and grow as time goes by.
We’ve gotten a good amount of rain here over the past few days, and I was looking out the window today at a plant that had gotten noticeably fuller and greener over the past week. My first thought, as yours might be, “I bet that plant has enjoyed the rain.” As a human, we all too often assign human qualities to inanimate objects. While the plant has benefited, and grown over time, I doubt it “felt” any better. Should it whither and die, we would feel sad. Who was so mean to not water the plant, to let it LIVE!?
If that plant had half a brain, it would up root itself, shuffle over to the hydrant, wrap its leaves around the spigot and have itself a drink. But it can’t. It’s firmly planted where it’s at and it isn’t going anywhere unless someone like you or I intervene. In fact it only EXISTS there, because it’s adapted to that specific environment. In other words, it’s not a coincidence that a banana tree hasn’t sprung up in the vacant lot next to the radio station.
But if you stop and think…why is that? Why CAN’T a banana tree grow there. Of course the textbook answer is climate, and geology, blah blah blah. BOOOORING. THE REAL ANSWER IS: They don’t grow there because they don’t WANT to. In fact they don’t want anything. They don’t want period. They’re just friggin’ plants!
People live all across the earth. There’s people living on Caribbean islands, there’s people on the south pole. Heck, there’s people LIVING IN SPACE! Why? Because they WANT to! Now read slowly and stay with me. All this has been setting up this one very point I’m about to make right here:
Take the astronaut for instance. At some point in that person’s PAST, they made the decision that in the FUTURE, they wanted to live, day in and day out for 6 months or more, on a space station orbiting miles above the earth, where there are no people, no land, no air…nothing. Because they CAN. Because they WANT to. When that decision was made, it was made in the PRESENT.
Time…it is the nature of our universe. It is constant, and unyielding. It doesn’t stop and wait for you and it WILL pass you by. In reality we live our lives on the edge of a knife. An ever so brief moment where you decide what you’re going to do next. In fact the present doesn’t even EXIST at all. The present is merely where the future becomes the past. You think of our lives as X amount of years we have here on earth? NO!
OUR LIFE is a brief instant where you decide to spend the extra 50 cents on a name brand product over a generic. When you decide to tell someone you love them for the first time. When you decide to betray that love. THIS is your life. A plant reacts to the experiences in its past, but it is at the whim of its future. What is the difference?
The difference is the ability to make the decision. You could call it self-awareness. I call it a soul. Your TRUE existence. Your body reacts to the food you eat, the things you do. It’s you…your soul…that decides what to eat, what to do.
On of the big barriers of faith, is trying to imagine a life away from the body. Could it be possible? It’s hard to do, but if you think that we only really exist at a point in time so infinitely breif, that doesn’t technically exist…and make decisions not of our body…but of our soul. Is it really so hard to imagine a life away from your body and with the Lord?
2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
Our future with the Lord. Our lives judged by the events of our past. Dictated by the decisions we make in the present. The past, the present, and the future. Is it part of God’s finger print in the universe revealing The Father, The Son, and the Holy Ghost? Perhaps it is coincidence…
My favorite verse:
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.