Thursday, February 11, 2010

Temporary Sojourn

Day Six6… ….Life is a Temporary Assignment…

Temporary is the other side of forever. In order to understand the incredible benefits of eternity, contemplate “temporary”. That is today’s quest…to contemplate “temporary.”

God gave me a fitting example of this today; I found myself attending a funeral. This man had a long bout with cancer, his life seemingly “cut short” at 47 years. That’s an interesting phrase we use… “Life cut short.” As if we were guaranteed a specific number of days or hours, however it be allotted. God commands “life allocation:” two years to an infant, 47 years to the man whose funeral I attended, and maybe only a day more for me. “Temporary” …such is life.

This is a quote from the blog of a twenty-two year old young man (pictured above) who has stage four cancer. It was written only four days ago…
Today, even in the midst of my many successes and triumphs, it is difficult to feel anything other than melancholy. The sickness and infection, which, a few weeks ago, had me fighting for my life has dissipated. The overwhelming sense of urgency has passed, for now. Following my second treatment I am significantly less ill than I was before, nevertheless, the challenges I am facing seem to be increasing in difficulty. My mind and my body prioritize the pain… Death has become a painful and terrifying reality. The many dreams and aspirations of my youth are now tainted, considering I no longer believe in the delusional rhetoric of luxury and safety. That is, up to this point, everything I’ve wanted and everything I’ve sought after has lost meaning. Every great and noble accomplishment will be gently lowered into the ground.
-- Jon Pound …read his blog here.

When “temporary” pokes its head out and reminds us that none shall last, it extracts all meaning and purpose from most everything we aspire to do and to be. As long as we don’t go to funerals, and there is no pain to remind us of fragile finiteness, we can just put temporary in our pockets, out of sight, and live life in bliss. But temporary always bites us upon remembrance. Why not embrace it? Ah yes, so much the better is contemplating and cherishing this thing called “temporary.”

Temporary is just another way of saying that there is something more and something better beyond a current, short-lived life.
But this I say, brethren, the time is short, so that from now on even those who have wives should be as though they had none, those who weep as though they did not weep, those who rejoice as though they did not rejoice, those who buy as though they did not possess, and those who use this world as not misusing it. For the form of this world is passing away.
-- 1 Corinthians 7:29-31

Sojourn this life in temporary fashion.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Is "forever" enough time to experience enough life?

Day four4… ….made to last forever…

Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m made to last forever. I feel like I’m moving toward an end of some sort. In essence, I am moving toward an end . Its like I have six more years in Houston and then I’m moving to Dubai. Life hasn’t ended all together, but life in Houston has reached its terminus, as well as everything I knew there. Anything that requires completion in Houston has a deadline; it has an end. And yet… on the tail of this end is a new beginning; Dubai and everything that comes with it!

So…I know that Dubai is inevitable, for I cannot stay in Houston past the time approved. Nevertheless, there is so much to do here! There is school to finish, and the business I want to start. There is that piece of land that I want to buy, and the house I’ve already designed for it. And then there are friends and family, food and fun. When I think of all the things that I want to experience in Houston, all the adventures I want to go on, all the things I want to learn, and all the mountains I want to conquer, I am a bit disappointed. There will never be enough lifetimes to experience enough life…at least not in Houston.

Can I not experience life entirely? When I come to the end of my time in Houston, I will have to say, “It wasn’t enough…”

“But,” you say, “there’s still hope! The banana peels and coffee beans you leave behind shall stay right where they lay, but you…you’re going on to Dubai!”

“Well so I am!” I say. “But oh, I will have the same predicament in Dubai! There will be so much life and learning and love and laughter to experience… so much more than even in Houston. And I shall still not have enough…for a hundred lifetimes could not fill me up!”

“A hundred lifetimes no! But you shall have more! For you were made to last forever!”

For us this is the end of all the stories…But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world…had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read, which goes on forever and in which every chapter is better than the one before.
- C. S. Lewis in Chronicles of Narnia

The “end of all the stories” is in Houston. But in Dubai the Great Story has only begun, and “every chapter is better than the one before.”

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
- Colossians 3:1-4 nkjv

The treasures in Houston are beyond attaining. No one could ever experience everything Houston has to offer. And yet, the treasures in Dubai are incomparably greater.

…but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- Matthew 6:20-21 nkjv

forty days of purpose...again

I'm late on this whole Purpose Driven Life thing. Last time I attempted to read this book it didn't align with what God was trying to teach me at the time. Well here I am again, my nose back in this book, and maybe for the full forty days this time! I won’t lead you down the path that God took me down to get me to start reading it again, but I’ll just leave you with the fact that God even uses sin to get me where He wants me. Anywho, back to my forty-day musings…

Day Three… …What Drives Your Life?…

Let me just read you a quote from day three…

Without a clear purpose you have no foundation on which you base your decisions, allocate your time, and use your resources. You will tend to make choices based on circumstances, pressures, and your mood at the moment. People who don’t know their purpose try to do too much – and that causes stress, fatigue, and conflict.

So…what drives my life? What do I base my decisions on, allocate my time to, and use my resources for? At this point in time I base my decisions on the thing will make me happy or on the fact that it is “the right thing to do.” Why do I get up and go to work? Why do I do my homework? Because at this point in my life I feel that it’s the right thing to do, that it will make me happier down the road a ways. Besides, everybody knows that you’ve got to have a job and you need to get a college degree. It’s just what you do.

Adding even more simplicity than that let me take it down a level to every day things. Why do I eat cereal for breakfast or pizza for lunch? Why do I buy Levi’s when I could just as easily go to Goodwill? Quite simply, these things make me happier. I would rather eat Cap’n Crunch than grits any day of the week, and pizza sounds much better than steamed broccoli (I’m showing my unhealthy tastes here). In short, all these decisions are made with my fulfillment in mind. Simply happiness. That’s all I want. Happiness when I eat. Happiness when I sleep. Happiness when I work and when I play. Happiness when I wear my Levi’s.

We all know the answer to this riddle…God should be the driving force behind our lives, the purpose, not ourselves and our own happiness. But really, in all honesty, when you make a decision, what do you base it on? Think about it. This is what drives you.