Are we There yet?
Eternity is a tricky concept to understand or explain. We can think of it as a future possession, something we will attain one day when we leave this earth and join Jesus in heaven. This is certainly the concept presented in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). The gospel of John however doesn’t describe eternity like that. In John 5:24 Jesus says, Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. The picture Jesus gives, of eternity, is something attained here and now, something we can live in daily. When we think of our lives like that it can really shift the way we think and act. We are not travelling towards eternity; we are living in it!
Our family is well practised in the art of the road trip. For a long time, each school holidays meant travelling somewhere to visit family and friends interstate. While I always spend time preparing for our destination; packing bags with suitable clothes, booking, or confirming accommodation and catch ups, it is the time spent in the car I prepare for the most. This is especially true now that I have three children to keep amused! New books are purchased, activity packs are gathered, and a multitude of snacks are always on board. The journey needs as much preparation as the destination because it is just as important. This is true for our journey through life. Jesus explains that it is those who hear and believe his words who are living in their “everyday” eternity. We have this promise already; Jesus’ words are truth. But our tools for navigating through this eternity journey like his Word; the Bible, prayer and fellowship help us to stay on the right road and continue to hear his voice and believe.
Inevitably, sometime on our road trip one of my kids will utter those words that every parent dreads: “Are we there yet?” As Jesus explains, the answer is yes and no. Eternity is happening right now, we are on our way, but our final destination is still on the horizon. When Jesus returns, we will have arrived, and won’t there be rejoicing that day!
Prayer: Dear Jesus, I thank you that, as I travel this road of eternity, you are with me. Help me to be mindful of your voice and help me to believe what you say. In your name I pray. Amen.