DayBreaks for 10/20/17: Temporary

DayBreaks for 10/20/17: Temporary

“It’s just a temporary condition.  You’ll feel better in a few days.”  Those are comforting words when they come from our doctor or dentist, are they not?  Temporary, meaning that it will not last long.  It’s a passing thing. 

“It’s just a temporary setback.  We’ll get back on track soon.”  Those words are often spoken in the business world or even in a military setting when something bad has happened and we want to put on a good face and try to be encouraging to others who may really be upset and disturbed by the goings-on.  In that case, it’s meant to be a comforting word.

But there are things that we don’t want to be temporary: enjoying beauty, enjoying the love of a spouse, children and grandchildren.  We don’t want the mountain-top experiences of life to be temporary things – like fleeting shadows that are here for a moment or two and then gone.  There’s nothing comforting about hearing that someone’s love for you is temporary.  We want it to be permanent – lasting, a forever-thing. 

Isn’t it strange how we spend so much of our life’s energy chasing after temporary things?  Can you imagine how our lives would be if we spent our time, money, energy and spirits on pursing permanent things?  In his books, When the Game is Over It All Goes Back in the Box, John Ortberg described an incident where a speaker stood in front of a large group of people.  He had a roll of stickers in his hand.  Behind him on the platform were all kinds of objects – tables filled with things from our lives – computers, dollhouses, desks, a Matchbox car, pots and pans, etc.  The speaker began to roam around the stage, placing red stickers on everything.  He explained to the crowd what he was doing: although they couldn’t see it from their vantage point, each sticker had the same word on it: TEMPORARY.  He said, “Everything that I’m putting a sticker on is temporary.  It will not last.  It will fade away.  We invest our emotions in them be3cause when we acquire it, it gives us a little thrill.  And we think the thrill will last.  But it does not.  It fades.  And eventually, so will what we acquire. 

“If you are living for what you see up here, then you are living for what is temporary.  Temporary satisfaction, temporary fulfillment, temporary meaning.  It will come to an end – but you never will.  It will leave you with a terrible emptiness.”

Wouldn’t it be easier to make better decisions in life if the things we pursue in this world all had that red sticker on them to remind us that they are temporary?  I have to think we might make different choices – at least some of the time. 

Later, the speaker did one more thing.  First, he said, “There is only one thing in this room that is not temporary.  There is only one item that you will be allowed to take with you from this life into the next.”  With that, he invited a little girl to join him on the stage, and he put a blue sticker on the collar of her dress.  “When you get to the end of your life and take in your last breath, what do you want your life to have been about.  What will make it rich in the eyes of God?”  The answer was obvious: people. 

Are you wise?  Are you building your life around temporary things or permanent, eternal things?  The next time you’re tempted to invest in something (large or small), try to picture the sticker – is it imprinted with “Temporary” or “Eternal”?

PRAYER:  Give us wisdom to see things as temporary, yet to see the people we encounter every day as eternal.  Please remind us of how we should invest our lives, and what we should invest them in.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

DayBreaks for 12/06/12 – One Day

DayBreaks for 12/06/12 – One Day

Heaven_and_earth“And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing your praise unending
10,000 years and then forever more!
Bless the lord oh my soul
Oh my soul
Worship his holy name
Sing like never before
Oh my soul
I worship your holy name.”  10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman

These are the words to the last verse and chorus of Matt Redman’s song, 10,000 Reasons.  I don’t know if there has been a song in my entire lifetime that has touched me as deeply and as often as this song has over the past two years.

My wife and I have been through a difficult past year.  It hasn’t been easy.  There were plenty of times when the darkness seemed to be settled in forever and it seemed that things were not going to work out.  But, as always seems to be the case, they did and have.

But as I listened to this song again twice today, I was moved by the image of the moment of death and of waking up singing an unending song of praise for “…ten thousand years and then forever more.”

Perhaps you already start each of your days with praise (I have this song on my cell phone as my wake-up alarm, by the way!)  Praise is a great way to start the day, isn’t it?  But you know, you just know before your first foot hits the floor that it won’t be long until the first issue of the day arises.  Until the first complaint leaves your mouth.  Until the first bad attitude creeps in.  Before the first unkind word is spoken.  Before the cares, worries and problems of your day start to take control and the praise fades into a muffled background at best.

Now, for even just a few moments, I want you to think about something else.  I want you to picture what it will be like some day to wake up and not have a single issue with which to contend.  To not have a single complaint leave your lips – or even any reason to complain.  To spend an unending day and never have or experience from others a bad attitude.  To never hear an unkind word.  To never have a relationship problem.  To never fail,  To never again have a self-image issue.

We think of the great promises of The Revelation: that death and dying will be no more, nor will there be any more tears.  But how often do we think about all the myriad hundreds and thousands of little things that niggle and nag at us as we pass from our unconscious sleep until we fall into unconscious sleep again?  Not only no death, but not a single ache.  Not only no death, but no fear of death or cancer or heart disease or Alzheimer’s.  Never to have a problem….period.  Never to have a want that is unsatisfied.  Never to long for something newer or better – for there will be no such thing as “better” than what we’ll have on that eternal day.  We will live in an eternal “best”.  One day.

It’s coming.

PRAYER:  How I long for that “one day”, Lord!  For that day of unending songs of praise, for that day that will last 10,000 years and then…forevermore!  Thank you for the hope, the assurance, of that one day!  Maranatha, Lord Jesus!  In Your name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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