Ever find yourself panicking as you get older? You feel as though you haven’t squeezed everything out of life that you could have. Perhaps your life didn’t turn out anything like you planned. You didn’t achieve enough or see enough.
Frantically grasping for everything you perceive you’ve missed out on may not be the answer to your problem. It may, in fact, take you far away from where you need to be.
Here’s why. Life on earth isn’t all there is. You’ve likely heard that, internalized it and even deeply believed it at points. If this life was all there is, then getting all you can now would make total sense. Anyone who advised you to do so would be spot on.
But there’s more than a birthdate, life and death date here on earth. Much more. Instead of freaking out about time passing, look intently at the big picture. This life is simply the rocky cliff and real life is the ocean you’ll jump into after your heart stops beating and you begin to really live. That life in the ocean will be full of adventure and wonder beyond your wildest dreams.
Do you hope to find that kind of fulfillment from all the stuff everyone clings to on earth? Good luck. You won’t find it. No matter how much you drink, who you love, or the sights you see, it will evade you. Why? Because this life is all about living on the rocky cliff. Practice, work on your skills and get ready. Make sure your form is flawless. Then, when it comes time to dive, you’ll be ready.
Now is the toiling training ground for something better. Self-help books, wisdom gurus and motivational speakers likely won’t give you what you need. One person who had perfect form will, though. Jesus. He lived and died to get you ready for the greatest moment of your life–Death.
The Other Side of Things
Sound morbid? That’s only because our eyesight is bad. All we see is a dead, crumpled body that goes deep into the ground. If that’s all there is, it is quite morbid. But that isn’t all there is.
At death, the soul busts out of that useless body. The real person leaves like a preschooler with enough energy for a million hours of play time and a million times more understanding.
The eternal youth looks back at her eighty-year-old shell as she leaves and does not shudder. She couldn’t care less who views “that” in the casket. It isn’t her. There’s no embarrassment at how the shell may appear to others. She glances at it, completely different from who she is now.
“Man, am I glad to be out of that thing!”
She says it exultantly, almost flippantly. She doesn’t turn back and look at it again like a parent longingly looks at a childhood picture of their kid that is now grown up.
She’s practiced her form on the cliff of life and she’s ready. She jumps in with gusto, abandonment and not the smallest tinge of insecurity. She doesn’t care who sees as she plunges in.
The ocean she dives into contains no water. It’s far more thrilling and fully alive than that. That ocean is the open arms of a God of complete and accepting love to which all earthly oceans shrink back as polluted mud puddles.
He looks ancient and young at the same time. Fear never struck Him and never will. She has eyes for Him only. God’s eyes smile into hers.
In time, she’ll revel in the golden streets, dip her toes into raging rivers and run through wild forests. Soon, she’ll embrace with all her strength those she’s missed for years.
All watch from a distance with elated, hope-filled smiles you won’t find on the dark planet. They are eager to embrace too but each knows from experience she can’t help it.
The time will come for all of that. But not yet!
Getting older? Don’t freak out. Get ready!
That is what the Scriptures mean when they say,
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him.”
I Corinthians 2:9 (NLT)