Are you experiencing the schizophrenia of having eternity hardwired into your heart but living as if this moment is all there is?
It is sad how many people constantly live in the schizophrenic craziness of eternity amnesia. We were created to live in a forever relationship with a forever God forever. We were designed to live based on a long view of life. We were made to live with one eye on now and one eye on eternity. You and I simply cannot live as we were put together to live without forever. But so many people try. They put all their hopes and dreams in the right here, right now situations, locations, possessions, positions, and people of their daily lives.
How do you do balancing out the “now” with the “future”?
Many people load moment after moment with undeliverable expectations. They ask people to be what people this side of eternity will never be. They demand that a seriously broken world deliver what it could never deliver even if it were not broken. They fail to recognize that at the bottom of all of this drivenness and insanity is an expectation that now can be the paradise it will never be.
It’s wonderful for you to have a good marriage, but it will never be a paradise. It’s great to have a good relationship with your children, but they will never deliver paradise to you. A great community is a treasure, but it will not end all your problems. That beautiful house that began decaying from the moment it was built will not be your paradise. Those still-flawed people around you will not offer you paradise-like relationships.
Who do you catch yourself being your deliverable? Who do you rely on to make things okay? Who can just ruin your day with their behavior?
In forgetting who you are, forgetting how you were designed to live, forgetting who God is, and forgetting what is to come, we make ourself and those around us crazy. Our eternity amnesia makes us unrealistically expectant, vulnerable to temptation, all too driven, dependent on people and things that will only disappoint us, and sadly susceptible to doubting the goodness of God.
Recognizing the eternity that is to come allows us to be realistic without being hopeless, and hopeful when things around us don’t encourage much hope.
The evidence is clear— there just has to be more to life than this. This broken, sin-scarred mess can’t be all there is. And Scripture is clear— this is not paradise, and it won’t be. Rather, this moment is a time of preparation for the paradise that is to come, where everything that sin has broken will be fully restored to what God originally intended it to be.
Is there schizophrenia in your living? Do you make your hunger for paradise a form of insanity by coupling it with forgetfulness about what is to come?
Do you load paradise-like expectations into fallen-world moments? Do you tend to have unreasonable expectations of others in your life?
Does your eternity amnesia tempt you to question the goodness of God? How do you get out of those situations?
Pray for grace to remember God and the unending end he has written into the story of all who put their trust in him. Long-view living is wise living. Long-view living is Godward living. Long-view living is hopeful living. Long-view living will make you thankful for grace.
What can you do to develop a “long-view” vision and way of life?
A Time for Everything
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
The God-Given Task
9 What gain has the worker from his toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already has been; and God seeks what has been driven away.
From Dust to Dust
16 Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice, even there was wickedness, and in the place of righteousness, even there was wickedness. 17 I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. 18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth? 22 So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him? – Ecclesiastes 3 ESV