School fills the late night hours with arduous study, study that finally awards you the career you’ve pined for since starting college…
The business trips are great successes, if only there was more time for the new family waiting at home. “Hawaii is amazing!”, the kids yell, splashing the warm ocean water, “two weeks is not enough, can we stay forever?”
“Work hard…” you whisper from your seat. The child searches you out in the crowd and those same gleaming eyes that stared back at you every morning in the mirror now belong to them. They wave from onstage, taking the diploma, and you ease back in your chair with a sigh,”…the sky’s the limit…”
The deep blue sky hangs like a blank canvas outside the hospital window. Everything else fades to white and you wonder, “…is it really?”
Humanity. The sum of our years on earth often amount to a gigantic scramble for satisfaction before “the end”. It’s understandable. After all, since the dawn of man, people would live; talking, laughing, loving, even philosophizing about death, only to die. Everything about us that is beautiful, intelligent, feeling? Gone, like vapors in the wind, and it just doesn`t make sense. Countless sages and wise men have tried to understand: if we suddenly stop working after about a century then why do we have superior intellect over the beasts of the fields? Why can we create vibrant culture from nothing, ponder our own existence with that twinkle of light behind our eyes? Why can we love?
The answer is very clear and rests in the word of God: we were designed for eternity. The biblical book of Genesis shows us that a human being is an awesome creation, a thoughtfully designed and enduring work of art made in the image of our heavenly Father (Genesis 1:26-28). As with any magnificent design, our life purpose is to carry out our Creator’s predestined directive with perfection. What is this directive? It varies from person to person in the details, but the broad answer is this: to know the living God intimately, to allow our bodies to serve as His temple, thus becoming a burning lamp of heaven’s light to a darkened world.
Jesus, the Son of God, made this possible by entering our world as a savior, a lamp to us. When you accept His outstretched hand and welcome the spirit of God to take up residence inside you, something strange begins to happen. A parallel world unfolds, one that shines with endless possibilities because the fear of death and anxiety over the possibility of a meaningless life fade away. How can these worries continue to control your future? You`re in communion with the One who spoke and stars blazed to life, the God who addresses Himself as ehyeh asher ehyeh, “I AM that I AM”. Time and all existence are the Lord’s to command, and He left heaven to live in you. Isn’t that what a temple is? A place where God can make His home, stretch His legs? A pure place where He can whisper His will to you? Only now, that sacred place is a human being. When the lights come on and you leave the church, He’s still there in your chest. He’s there when you rise the next morning, while at work, strolling through a summer breeze, climbing a mountain. You have become a walking, talking temple of God.
So now, life is no longer a desperate race to a finish line at the edge of a cliff. There is hope, a promise of divine purpose on the earth and eternal life in the coming kingdom of God. Now, worship in the chapel or on the beach is that much sweeter. The failed test or job interview is not the end of the world. Sun speckled bazaars and medinas resonate with the aroma of divinely created spices you hadn’t noticed before in such a hurry. To know the Lord and serve as His dwelling place doesn’t mean you stop living. It means living with a bright future, as if you’ll never stop.