With a gasp, Mother looked up from the morning newspaper. "This is terrible!" she said in a shocked tone. A local homeschooling family we've known for years had just lots two of their songs (ages 11 and 14) in a car accident. Their two daughters (ages 18 and 19) were in critical condition and didn't yet know their brothers had gone to be with the Lord. Though the parents and two remaining children (ages 16 and 21) do know the Lord, this has naturally been a very difficult trial for them to go through. In just seconds their lives were turned completely upside down.
Tragic news like this serves as a wake-up call to check my own life priorities. Though I have trusted the Lord as Savior and know I am prepared to meet Him, am I living each day as if it was my last? If any of my family members were called Home today, would I have regrets about the way I have treated them? The honest answers to these questions are painful, motivating me to set better priorities. Realizing I have no assurance of what the next morning may bring helps me put first things first.
A quote Jessica D. recently shared with me expresses these thoughts clearly: "In the light of death, the latest fads, fancy houses...and superficial amusements lose importance. Peer pressure and popularity vanish. Our selfishness looms in front of us, and we suddenly see that our family, our relationships, our obedience to authority, and our walk with God are crucial. Our wasted time, our disrespect, and our pride will mock us in the face of death." 1
In Luke 12, Jesus shared the story of a man who lacked an eternal perspective. His priorities were to have financial prosperity and to "take [his] ease, eat, drink, and be merry." Jesus went on to say, "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." 2
Living each moment with eternity in view will have a profound impact on our priorities! Asking myself, "Will this really matter when I get to heaven?" is a good way to put the little irritants and selfish desires of daily life into perspective. It's so easy to make mountains out of those things which amount to no more than a mole hill in God's sight--and, on the other hand, it is easy to view certain things as "insignificant" though they are of greatest value to God.
The key to finding the proper perspective is to, as Hebrews 12:1-5 reminds us, keep "looking unto Jesus." It is vital for us to catch a glimpse of the tremendous responsibility we have been given as followers of Christ. As Dee Jepsen puts it, "We live in a world poisoned by its own sinful rebellion, suffering from the 'wisdom' of man without God. We were created for something much better than a pigpen. Our Father's plan is for us to reflect His glory to a lost world. We are ambassadors to the world. What a high calling! What a tremendous opportunity! Will we leap out of the threatening darkness into the light of His truth? Come, let us embrace the great privilege of being light-bearers to our world." 3
Wow--isn't that thrilling?! What higher priority can we have than to live every moment for the God who loves us so much that He died for us while we were "dead" in sins? We have a message of hope to share with a hurting world! In this light, "the things of earth...grow strangely dim" and our moment-by-moment priorities fall into place. Only then can we truly live without reserve, retreat, or regret.
"Now to Him Who, by...the action of His power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think--infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams--to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen--so be it." 4
1 From Harmony for the Heart, page 195
2 Luke 12:20-21
3 From What's Happening to My World? by Dee Jepsen
4 Ephesians 3:20-21, Amplified
This editorial was published in the July-August 2004 issue of Hidden Wisdom Magazine, copyright 2004, Abigail Paul.