And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.
~ Psalm 23
In my daily life I have a lot of conversations about eternal life. I guess since most of the people I spend time with have a life-limiting illness, eternity is something pressing.
I realize that for most of us, the thought of eternal life begins at the time we take our last breath. For some, though, eternal life began at the moment we were first known in our mother's womb.
Since I seem to have a lot of discussions about heaven, for me the "next" chapter of eternal life has clearly entered the present. The reality that God is here and now makes these conversations about eternity much more meaningful.
Years ago my daughter made a comment to me, "You know dad, I'm not dying."
I guess it's a job hazard, immediately thinking of eternal consequences, when the reality of the here and now is simple.
Our eternal life can fill our present life with unknowns. Sometimes the focus isn't so much about living out life eternally, but how do we recognize it's presence. How do we know when kt has begun? For some it has become a preoccupation.
So many chapters in the Bible share about life beyond, a mansion with many rooms, the endless chorus of Hallelujah, our no longer needing to rest, while celebrating a place where we all experience perfect peace and joy with no more death or sorrow.
The promise of that life seems to have gotten overwhelmed by the struggles of this world. The reminder that there are those who live life not thinking of eternity, but rather today. Who seem to find it necessary to have control, while failing to surrender and discover that life eternal is present now.
For me, eternity becomes more real with the passing of each person I journey with. Having listened to their thoughts, dared to walk with them, and asked myself the same questions time and time again. Death is not the end, but the beginning of the next chapter of our life eternally.
By embracing that thought, faith suddenly then finds a way to overcome the struggles of this world, and make my abilty to be in relationship with others possible. Welcoming life eternal is a walk we take each day.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.