August 4 (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
He has planted eternity in the human heart. (NLT)
The tyranny of the urgent crushes the human spirit. Consider for a moment the things that make you nervous or anxious, scared or worried. Are they not things like paying your bills, dealing with a difficult relationship, or handling the mountain of work at your job? The young person knows this anxiety as she prepares to enter a new level of school, and the elderly person knows it as he frets over burdening his family. Seventeenth century thinker Blaise Pascal identified why this is so. “Our imagination so enlarges the present by dint of continually reflecting on it, and so contracts eternity, by never reflecting on it, that we make a nothing of eternity and an eternity of nothing.”
Contrast that with how God designed us. He planted eternity in our hearts. We were made to dream of and to ponder the limitless. Do we have to put gas in the car? Of course we do, but activities like that are not the focus of our lives, and neither are things like wealth, honor, and the accumulation of achievements. We live in discrete moments, minute to minute, in bodies no taller than the tops of our heads and no faster than our muscles can contract, yet our hearts are made for eternity. How, then, do we reverse the absurdity that Pascal identified?
We dwell in the eternal when we surrender to God. When we give Him our fears and our worries, when we give Him our plans and our dreams and focus not on any of those things but on Him and His rich, extravagant, lavish, warm, perfect love for us, in such a moment our moments expand to eternity. Confidence and peace become ours as we walk in sure relationship with our Lord.
Oh, Jesus, You overwhelm me with Your love and friendship. When I think about it, I can’t imagine why I ever look to anything, be it my worries or successes, other than You. If anything tempts me to look elsewhere, please draw my gaze back to You. Amen.