Monday, June 11, 2012

Busyness & Significance

In Psalm 39, David prays, “O Lord, make me know my end And what is the measure of my days; Let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, And my lifetime is as nothing before you Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Sure a man goes about as a shadow! Surely for nothing they are in turmoil; Man heaps up wealth and does not know who will gather!” Psalm 39:4-6.

If you are like me, you busy yourself with all sorts of activities. But how much of it will survive? Of all the things we worry about today, and we will worry about tomorrow, how many of them will be discussed at our funeral? Chances are, none of the things that I worried about today, or you gave considerable attention to, will even cross the minds of those in attendance at our respective funerals. When we say goodbye to a loved one, we grieve the loss of their friendship, companionship and those God-given traits that make them unique. Ultimately, however, we love those closest to us not for the attributes that fill the obituary sections of the newspapers, but simply because of the nature of their relationship to us.

On the day when we laid our son Micah’s body to rest in the grave, we were provided a wreath to lay across his little casket. The wreath simply read, “Son.” In a word, that is what Micah is to Heather and me, and why we grieve, even now. Whether our children or other loved ones live 8 days or 80 years, the pain at their departure is the same because of their relationship to us. While our loved ones may have achieved varying degrees of worldly successes, that is not why we love them. We love them because they are, simply, “Son” or “Daughter;” “Wife” or “Husband;” “Dad” or “Mom.” Similarly, as we think about the eternal destiny of those who have died knowing God through Christ, we know that our loved ones are not saved by reason of any human achievement. They are saved because of what Jesus did on the cross, as a free gift to us, not because they deserved it in any way. In saving us who believe by His blood, I think of Jesus as symbolically laying a wreath across their lives, a wreath that reads simply “Child of God.”

Our eternal significance is not based upon the quantity of goods we leave behind, nor about our list of achievements. Ultimately, what will be significant about our lives, in eternal terms, is nothing we can accomplish on our own during our brief earthly lifespan, regardless of how busy we try to keep ourselves. Just as my son Micah’s significance to me has nothing to do with the brevity of his earthly lifetime, so our significance in God’s sight has nothing to do with our achievement, and everything to do with Jesus.