Thursday, April 28, 2011

Connecting the Rabbit Trails

Sitting, waiting in the drive-thru line at Sonic, my eyes begin to explore and my mind wanders, provoking random thoughts building upon one another, leading into the next until finally....a bridge, connecting the rabbit trails. 

And this is why I keep pen and paper in my car  (And in the absence of paper, sometimes McDonald's napkins become my journal pages....).

In front of me is a beautiful, shiny new car with a sunroof, perfect for welcoming the sun on days like today.  My SUV is not so shiny...ten years old but faithful, red snow cone stains on the carpet and dings and scratches on the doors from years of carelessness by strangers parked next to me at the grocery store.  The car in front of me will soon, too, lose its shine and new car smell.  The newness lost in tomorrow... things get old and wear out, their value often determined by flash and physical perfection.

I pay for my drink and turn onto the highway.  A police officer interrupts traffic to allow mourners the opportunity to pass by....united in their grief they pay their last respects to a life that once was, but has now ended.

Across the street a building loses its presence in our city one scoop at a time, the big mechanical arm reaching, grabbing, destroying.  This building that once broadcast from inside its walls to cities miles away....this building where my dad and my boys each received their first haircuts so many years apart...this building whose walls echoed the secrets of men no longer here....its existence soon to be found only in memories and photographs.

As these scattered thoughts collide, a theme emerges and my ears begin to listen. I consider the shiny new car, my old SUV and the tired building now resting in a pile of debris.  These things exist and then cease to exist....get old and then replaced.  Each created for a purpose and at the end of its usefulness, tossed aside or destroyed, no longer of value.  Temporal in its being, each thing has no meaning beyond its death.

The body carried in the hearse has a similar ending.  It, too, will return to dust.  But the living, eternal soul that once dwelled inside of this temporal shell of a body does not cease to exist.  All is not gone.  The soul now abides in a place unseen by human eyes. 

Then shall the dust [out of which God made man's body] return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return to God Who gave it ~ Ecclesiastes 12:7

Each of us, created for a purpose, given and appointed a number of days by our creator to live in this body on this earth....will one day meet our maker.  How will we spend eternity when this body has expired but our soul is just beginning forever

And how will we live our right now?  Do we seek after those things that are temporal and will one day pass away, or do we seek after those things of eternal value? 

Do we find ourselves grasping at things destined to return to dust?  Working toward goals whose ends will be found only in memories and photographs? 

The world places value on the external, physical appearance and material wealth but God looks at the condition of our heart and our soul. 

Unlike the temporary material possessions and things of this world, our journey does not end here.  One chapter is closed but our story continues.  And we, like an author with pen to paper, develop our unending plot by not what we choose or even what we do, but by Who we choose.

In light of Easter, I am consciously aware of the sacrifice Jesus made at the cross and the value of the gift of salvation He has given us. 

His love is immeasurable and He desires that when we breathe our last breath on this earth that we spend eternity with Him.  

And....He has provided a way.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
 John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

6 friends had this to say:

Angel said...

This has to be one of the best pieces I've ever read on the subject of live and death - our need for God and the eternal life He promises for those who accept His gift of salvation. Just wonderful - Thank you!

Dean Spencer said...

Shelly -

Your rabbit trails definitely brought you to a place of worship, didn't it?

This is a poignant reminder of life, but clearly God has provided hope to our state through His Son Jesus!

Praise God, for without Jesus we would be destined for a life without hope or a future.

God bless!

Sharon said...

Beautifully written, Shelly.

You have captured so well the life/death struggle in this life. So many things pass, so many things change. I just recently had another birthday - and I'll tell you, I feel the old tent starting to show its age.

How I praise God that my death will not be the end of the story! That is glorious hope!

Hoping you have a wonderful Mother's Day!


PeachyGirl said...

A great read indeed Shelly!
I love how those rabbit trails ultimately point to Him, if only we'll open our eyes and heart. A great post, very well written, you always encourage me.
Thank you!

ittybittyaddition said...

Such an awesome blog post, sis!! :) <3

******Shelly****** said...

Thanks, everyone! I love how God can take the ordinary, mundane things of our daily wanderings and.... poof! Instant revelation and a heavy manifestation of His presence. There's not much better than God Himself riding with me in my Tahoe....