“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
I grew up hearing this truism. Eventually it became a trite statement. People rolled their eyes when it was quoted. Too bad how ideas that are good and true, and important to remember, become relegated to the Sally Ann box in our minds, just because we hear them often.
It’s probably because I’m getting older, but lately I find myself dragging things out of the Sally Ann box and putting them back into my life. As I look back at the old year, and ahead to the new one, I wonder how many things I have done, or will do, are things that will last.
Jesus tells us we should lay up treasures in heaven, where moths don’t eat and rust doesn’t corrode. I am shocked when I think how many things I concern myself with every day will be eaten or corroded by this time next year.
What can I do this year that will last?
The only eternally significant things we deal with in this life are not things. They are people. That means anything I do to contribute to the eternal well-being of others will last. Everything else will not.
Does this mean I have to do great and mighty things every day of my life? No. Human beings are not blessed by great and mighty things. They are blessed by small, loving words and actions that, little by little, stretch out their souls to make room for God.
They are blessed by little prayers, spoken as I wash dishes, or mark papers, or drive to the grocery store—prayers that, without my awareness, are storming the gates of hell, and opening the gates of heaven so that people can enter into God’s joy-filled presence. God’s presence is where things last.
The Apostle Paul says we are to set our minds on things above, not on things that are on the earth. He doesn’t mean we are to neglect the things of this life. We have to function here. We have to be responsible in how we use our bodies and the material world God has created for us to live in. But we are not to set our minds on these temporal things. We need to look beyond them to eternity.
I want to be mindful, as I go into this new year, of what I am creating that will last. I want to do every earthly activity with a heavenly purpose. I want everything I do to be for Christ.
Scriptures from Matthew 6 and Colossians 3.