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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Eternity Between Existence and Eternity

“PEOPLE these days don’t think enough about eternity.”
This was a comment I overheard at a church meeting that intrigued me. Since them I’d been fascinated with the eternity between existence and eternity.
Don’t get me wrong, we will exist in eternity, but perhaps the only way we can separate our understanding of existing in these two opposite realms is by calling one, existence, and the other what it is: eternity.
Existence, of course, involves us existentially. We live and breathe, laugh and cry, and relate in physical ways. We also experience pain, anxiety, stress, fear, dread and disgust, because we are bodily and because we live in this world. Life is never what it could be; always shorter of our hope for it and the potential it has. Yet, there are always a thousand reasons to be grateful.
Eternity, on the other hand, is a spiritual realm. Yet, we will have many more ‘physical’ faculties available to us. And it will be a place where we will comfortably and peacefully stay forever. Many an atheist criticises the very thought of heaven, but they read too much existential pain into it, never contemplating how opposite existence and eternity are. They can’t get their minds around it. And still, if God can create this universe as it is — so vast, so intricate, yet so incredibly unknowable — what is to limit him in creating heaven? Indeed, the mindboggling universe points us to the reality of eternity.
Any believer who has had a loved one pass away recently knows how death piques our interest in things eternal.
We wonder what it is like for the one who has ‘ascended’ before we have; the one who is in glory; who is now no longer visible or accessible to us. We wonder what it will be like to reacquaint in the heavenly place when our lives are over.
We can afford to hope for the simple fact that hope improves our lives, but doubting brings no such joy. There is only life to be gained by hoping for heaven. There is only the horror of despair if we cannot encapsulate hope in our vision.
***
If we don’t wonder about eternity, our existence has no wonder about it.
If eternity doesn’t captivate and motivate us, our existence is not going to trouble or improve us.
When we have eternity in view, existence has its twilight of purpose.
Believe in eternity and existence has its purpose.
Eternity is eternal and existence has its time, yet only in our existing can we affect our eternity.

© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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