Mike Rimmer thinks that this generation is the most spiritually short sighted in history.
Although I have no first hand life experience of any other time in world history, it feels like this current generation is in danger of being the most short sighted in church history. Somehow we seem to have lost our sense of the eternal! Like the culture around us, it's very easy to get caught up in materialistic pursuits and get consumed with our own lives. There have even been theologies developed that help justify this selfishness.
Here's a question or two to get you thinking! Are you so rooted in your present concerns that you've lost sight of the bigger picture? Does the truth that God has an eternal destiny for your life affect how you live today?
I have friends in my church who get depressed when their football team loses? They'll spend a whole day being grumpy! What about how we deal with disappointments in life? The job we didn't get, the relationship that didn't work out. I recently met an author called Brenda Sloggett who was disowned by her family when she was married and in her forties. In the twenty years since it happened, she has adopted or fostered seven children from the far east and worked to encourage the persecuted church in Cambodia. She has seen a bigger picture which has helped her overcome her trials. Even today she has been diagnosed with cancer, but is still living a life trying to make an eternal difference by continuing to choose to be involved with issues and people. She's an inspiration!
What about you? Do you have such a grasp of God's eternal hold on your life that it helps you make sense of your day by day life? Sometimes it feels as though we're in danger of occasionally taking a day off from being a Christian. Do you ever have days like that when you wake up with no sense of God being close to you? It's easy to sleep walk through your day without God using you. It's easy to sleep walk spiritually so that even if God was to land an opportunity on your plate, you'd be looking the other way.
People with a sense of the eternal purposes of God wake up and live out those purposes daily. They bring the future into the present and realise that every day God has got stuff for them to do. Are you one of them? When you step out of bed in the morning, are you aware of God being with you?
If we're to stop the tendency to sleep walk, we have to deliberately choose to be a Christian every morning and then every minute of our lives. We have to learn to see life through eternity tinted spectacles, putting everything into perspective. I once had a friend whose favourite phrase when things went wrong was "what is this in the light of eternity?"
Compared to eternity our life on earth is just a breath. It's a vapour that's here and then gone. I know it sounds morbid but sometimes I wonder about my life and what it will mean when I'm gone. What will count? Have I wasted my money on surrounding myself with stuff that's ultimately worhtless? Have I wasted my time on activites that have little eternal purpose or have I spent my life well on being about God's business?
It's a challenge isn't it? But choosing to be deliberately Christian every day and viewing life through eternity spectacles is the only way to avoid being dragged down into mediocrity and short sightedness.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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