As a kid, I used to think a great deal about some of the complex things I was being taught about God. You know what I'm talking about--the deep things like the fact that no one created Him, He just was. Or, how God already knew what would happen before it ever came to our minds. The whole concept of eternity was fascinating to me--a place where there were no school bells (remember, I was just a kid) or bed times or any reference to time at all. I couldn't wait for eternity to start when I accepted Christ at age 8. It seemed like it would never get here.
My perspective was changed one day when an author I was reading suggested this thought: eternity begins today. That's right...today. Your forever--my forever--began the moment we were created in the image of God in our mother's womb. You and I are living our eternity. And because we were created in God's image, we have a soul that will go on forever. The decision is not "will we have eternity?" The decision is where will we spend it and how.
Another thought that crossed my mind recently was this: the people you meet every day of your life are now part of your eternity. They have crossed your path and have changed your life...forever. Some have left small, dimple-like impressions. Others have changed the course of your life in radical ways. I could sit here and give a long list of people who have done that for me. Former students, current friends, co-workers, neighbors, two beautiful wives and five incredible children. The list goes on and on.
This past Sunday, I celebrated part of eternity with five followers of Christ through the act of baptism. My prayer is that this moment made a lasting impression on each of them. Yesterday, I met knew people while preparing food baskets for families in Franklin. Today, my kids and I handed out those baskets. Impressions. Each one different in nature, different in scope, yet significant nonetheless because they were shapers of eternity for everyone involved.
Why all this rambling about eternity? Because yours began the day you were born. And every minute you spend changes part of your eternity. Like a rock tossed in a lake, your minutes ripple into the lives of others. That ripple continues on and on as one life bounces off of another. So, this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to do two things. First, make good use of your ripples. Leave a positive impression on the people you meet and the paths you cross. God did not brush you against other people's lives for you to waste those opportunities.
Second, thank God for the ones who share your eternity. Not just the big players but even the smaller ones--the bankers, the postal worker, the pesky neighbor and the busy-body co-worker. Pray God's blessings on each of them and think how you might be different if your lives had never touched. Chances are, you'll find some new way to spend these minutes in your eternity.
My family will be enjoying the holidays as many of you--eating, watching football and playing the annual Turkey Bowl. I'll be back next week to blog again (a little more rotund, I am quite sure). Till then... be safe, be blessed and may you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving. It will be one more amazing day in your own little eternity. Later.