Aching for Eternity

Remember as a kid counting-down the days until your next big birthday? “I’m 5 ¾, only 2 ½ months until I’m in double-digits! Yeah, woohoo!” Or, “I can’t wait, I’m only 45 days away from being a teenager! Or, every parent’s dread, “only 6 months until I get my driver’s license!” Or how about I’m almost 21, I’ll finally be legal to . . .” Well, you get the idea. There was something really special about anticipating and reaching those milestone birthdays. It was as if you had reached the next level in the video game of life, to put it in modern day terms, somehow qualifying for all new powers and privileges. “Now I have the Extra Grace Booster and can withstand triple the amount of annoyances from others!” Or, “Now I can defeat Satan’s attack with a single wave of my hand, making denying my desire to sin as easy as pressing a button.” Umm, yeah. We wish, right?

Well, a couple months ago, I reached a big milestone birthday myself – – The Big 5-0! And I wonder, where’s all the hype? Where’s all the super powers? Where’s the birthday party at the skating rink with pizza and cake, and enough candy to put Wonka’s factory on back order? It has come and gone with very little fanfare, and without really feeling any accomplishment whatsoever. I’m left still feeling that longing for the next big thing, the next big notch in my belt symbolizing having reached the next level or achievement in life. And yet I know, whether I like to admit it or not, I’m reaching for an ever elusive goal; one I will never reach . . . this side of eternity.
I’ve recently recognized this longing to be attributed to what God has said in Ecclesiastes 3:11, “He has set eternity in the hearts of men.” That aching that I feel, the thirst that never seems fully quenched, the dissatisfaction in reaching a goal that doesn’t quite live up to what I had hoped it would, is my heart crying out to be with my Heavenly Father. And as I enjoy my time here on earth, and have glimpses of His glory, whether in the Rocky Mountains, or in the overwhelming contentment of snuggling up with the family for Little House On The Prairie, or the countless other places I experience Him throughout my days, it remains only a taste of the magnificence to come.
And so I’m left with a decision. Do I get lost in the mundane pursuits of a cynical culture that insists that there can’t be a God with all of this chaos around us. Or . . . do I relish in the sneak peeks of heaven He give me, thanking Him for them, and calling out for more!
Life many times doesn’t measure up to what we hope for, but Jesus ALWAYS does. He has placed eternity in our hearts, intending that we continually pursue Him until He comes back to take us home. And so that’s what I’ll choose to do. I really hope you will too!

-Pastor Mitch