Monday, July 18

In Light Of Eternity

Read I John 5:1-11

I live in a land where emergencies happen moment to moment.

The kids woke up too early and now everyone is cranky. Emergency.

Baby played in the toilet that wasn’t flushed. Emergency.

A ‘helper’ dusted valuable breakables onto the floor. Goodbye travel souvenirs. Emergency.

A mole dug up my freshly planted flower beds. Emergency.

Burned cornbread. Emergency.

These things are BIG in my life. I want to pout and scream and call someone to get some sympathy. Isn’t that what we do in an emergency? My reaction is physical and I feel my chest tighten, breathing accelerates.

A few months ago I printed out a Parenting Manifesto from Ann Voscamp’s blog. I love every line written, but one stuck out to me:

Today, I will not have any emergencies. There are no emergencies. Only amateurs hurry.

But…. I want to argue (and maybe stomp my foot!). Situations happen all day long that make me crazy! In my land, they are emergencies. This Manifesto implies I have a choice about how I react to them. Could great calamities be handled with grace? We all know the craziness of my reaction isn’t productive.

Since I’ve been attempting to have no emergencies, one phrase keeps buzzing around in my head like a song that gets stuck. “In light of eternity…”. I think I heard a snippet of a sermon and have no idea what the rest of the message was about, but that phrase, it haunts me.

In light of eternity.

The kids woke up early. In light of eternity, it is unimportant and bedtime will come earlier.

Baby played in the toilet. In light of eternity, I’ll clean up the mess and make sure the bathroom door is closed next time.

Breakables broke. In light of eternity, they aren’t significant, but the heart of my ‘helper’ child is.

The mole maddened my day. In light of eternity, this is a season.

Burned cornbread. In light of eternity, it was .48 cents. Get over it.

"If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, 

the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world."

~ C.S. Lewis

What is important in eternity? It isn’t little bits of mayhem that jump in and out of my day. Eternity is with God if I am a Christian. I am made for another world. My ultimate purpose is to Love God and keep his commandments (I John 5:3) and live forever in heaven after I die. In light of eternity, the little things only distract.

But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, 

which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 

None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, 

they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 

But, as it is written, "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, 

nor the heart of man imagined, 

what God has prepared for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:7-9

Changing my “emergency” reaction isn’t an easy process. Moms find it easy to cling to frenzy as our right. I feel the physical reaction when some craziness happens – the anger, panic, or disdain. I consciously must sigh, release the heaviness to let it go. Let. It. Go. “In light of eternity” echos through my brain. This is truth I know. Try it and find freedom in striving for the promised land.


Andee said...

Fantastic post today! I so needed that. Love the CS Lewis quote to.

BARBIE said...

This really spoke to my heart today. Thank you for reminding me that I have a choice in choosing how I will react to situations.

Kari said...

Love it! I too have been trying to not have emergencies, what freedom it is! And a much happier home!

Sara said...

Great post, Alysun. And, as always, very challenging and encouraging. After a couple years of marriage, I learned to apply a similar principle. There were lots of things to get upset about: my husband leaving dirty clothes in the middle of the floor for the 258th time, getting home an hour or two late without calling me, not being able to come to a special function of mine because of his work schedule, etc. At first I was upset, angry and bitter about everything. I then I learned something: those reactions don't help anything. They don't change the situation...and they certainly don't change HIM. I also learned to tell myself, "Is this really going to matter after 50 years of marriage? Am I going to be glad then that I got upset over something so little?" Just asking myself that usually keeps me from getting upset about the little things that sometimes seems so big at the time.

With that said, I haven't done as well applying this type of principle to "emergency" situations with my children. As someone who easily freaks out at anything associated with germs, bodily fluids, etc, "emergencies" happen ALL the time around here with 3 kids ages 3 and under! Getting that phrase, "In light of eternity" stuck in my head would be a very good thing for me!

Sherri said...

So true and I definately needed the reminder!

Linds and Manda said...

Thanks Al. I think I also somehow thrive on the reaction to the craziness. I so talk out of both sides of m mouth. I don't like it but somehow I think I've let it define who I am. I don't want to thrive that way. I want to thrive on living in light of eternity. Thanks again for the reminder.