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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Eternity: if only for this life…

All of my life I have been told that I am an eternal creature. When my physical body dies, my spirit will either die forever or live forever. There is no way to escape it. I cannot simply disappear or vanish. I cannot simply fade away.

I don’t know what would be worse. The temptation to simply escape the calamities of this life by no longer existing or the fear that someday I might just disappear. Has not eternity been planted in my heart? Do I not want to last forever? Do I not want to be remembered forever? Do I not want to create eternal change on this earth?

Once again I contemplate life decisions and consider the eternal. It is easy to disguise selfish decisions with the simple plea that I am being responsible. Sometimes I wonder if Jesus ever asked me to make one responsible decision. He always seems to ask me to make selfless decisions. Ones which will always and again sacrifice my comfort for the sake of the spiritual, emotional and physical survival and prosperity of others.

I wonder why we call responsibility what we do. Even if eternity only lasted a million years, wouldn’t I be at best foolhardy to spend all my energy in the first 75 years on the level of my comfort in the first 75 years? Wouldn’t it make much more sense to sacrifice all my comfort in the first 75 years for a promised eternal reward in the next 999,925 years?

Sometimes I don’t understand.

The last few weeks one of the most comforting verses in my life has been from 1 Corinthians, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

As I have once again begun to root down into decisions of following Christ, I realize the last thing that I want to do with my life is live in such a way that no one would pity me if God ended up not being real. I do not want to live in a way that is so comfortable that people would just shrug and say, “She lived pretty good anyway. Yeah, she gave 10% and did that sort of thing; but most of her ‘sacrifice’ simply led to greater pleasure. Who cares if God is not real? She didn’t really sacrifice any worldly comfort for Him anyway. She lived well and comfortably. She was responsible and took care of herself first. When she left, she even left earthly treasure behind for others to enjoy. She never gave Him everything. She gave Him a little of her excess.”

I want to be pitied. If Christ does not exist, I want to live a life that all mankind would pity me upon this discovery. I want to have entirely wasted my life for the fantasy of His existence. I want to make every decision in light of the probability of His existence. Really, I just want to make every decision in light of eternity.

I don’t want to waste my life. I don’t care what people say. I don’t care how they disguise their pleas for me to become a selfish American again. I don’t want to. I don’t want to waste my life being controlled by materialism. I never want to serve it again. I would rather take the chance of dying under a bridge from starvation than of not being pitied should Christ not exist. When I enter the gates of the heavenly city, I would rather hear, “I didn’t actually mean you should give everything. What were you thinking?” than “Why didn’t you actually give everything? What were you thinking?”

If only for this life I have hope in Christ, I want my life to be so wasted. If what I do with every moment of my day isn’t indeed eternal, then what is the point?

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead…”

How do you engage the reality of eternity? Would people genuinely pity you because of the level of sacrifice for Christ in your life if it was discovered that He indeed did not exist? Or do you live pretty comfortably anyway?

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