Friday, December 21, 2007

Death in the Mirror

This is an excerp from an article called "Death in the Mirror: Real Meaning in Life is to be Found Beyond Life" by Timothy K. Jones:

"Christian faith has always argued that meaning in life will be found beyond life...Despite the richness of this world, the New Testament reminds us that we are on our way to a reality even clearer and more substantial than we presently experience, 'Here we do not have an enduring city,' the writer of Hebrews wrote, 'but we are looking for the city to come' (Heb. 13:14). Or, as Paul put it, 'We look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen' (2 Cor. 4:16,18).

Indeed, we will never live fully if we think we can exhaust the meaning of the moment without reference to the longer stretch...We cannot live rightly until we aim past life. Eternity provides the only goal that makes the ultimate sense of each moment. Awareness of death, and of its opening to a life beyond, has not only framed how I look at life. It has also begun to work a change in how I walk through life. It has, in other words, brought not just new meaning to my moments, but changes to my behavior. As Samuel Johnson reportedly said, 'When a man knows he is going to be hanged in fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully.' Our awareness of the transitoriness of this life, find, concentrates my priorities, helps me refashion my daily choices.

To know that life is not a destinationless journey helps me live more completely for a final good, an ultimate end...To know that 'we have such a hope,' as Paul says, makes us 'very bold' (2 Cor. 3:12). God's gracious assurance and promise of eternal care helps us 'incline to our proper center.' Our daily decisions become oriented around something more profound...A conviction about what lies beyond is giving me courage to live more fully and more faithfully...God can take even my frailty and mortality and invest it with eternal significance."

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