Recently I was speaking at a conference in Ohio and it was close enough to add on a few days to visit with a few of my relatives from up North (I’m sharing some blurry pics with you capturing those moments). What a joy to step back in time with those you love!
While I observed the commotion of these precious people, ranging in age from one to ninety-three, I thought about the scope of history those years represent. Almost a century of living was contained in that living room, with perhaps almost another century’s worth of living lying ahead for the youngest in the room. For a brief morning we were all together, and will perhaps never have the opportunity to repeat this same arrangement of loved ones.
Glimpses of eternity happen in brief moments like this.
In each of our life’s brief moments, heart decisions are made. Heart decisions affect the trajectory of our lives and leave a historical record like a contrail that remains but dissipates as the day lengthens. Will the next generation be affected by the contrail your life is now leaving? Heart decisions affect not only our lives here, but our eternity, and whether we realize it or not, our heart decisions affect our loved ones.As old memories are recounted, I’m reminded of God’s providence, of His hand at work through the years. Throughout history, He is at work in the brief moments of our lives, weaving His story through ours, seeking to reach us through the pages of our personal history. He left a credible record of how He did that with His own people through the Old Testament and provides us with a future glimpse of eternity in the New Testament.
How are you measuring the moments of your day?
Are you evaluating the time you spend with loved ones and intentionally using those moments for God-centered conversations? Are you pausing long with your little ones and inviting their hearts to bond with yours in a way that mirrors the Father’s love for His own? Are you considering the legacy you’re leaving and filling today’s moments with markers that will be spiritual signposts for those who come behind you?
God’s desire is for us to abide in Him, through a moment-by-moment relationship with Him. Jesus described it this way:
[box]I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned . . .
My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. (John 15:1–11)[/box]
Through that abiding relationship, God desires for us to be fruitful by walking in obedience to Him. Life is filled with brief moments that hold opportunity for abiding and fruitfulness. But the natural tendency is to adopt a laid-back approach, and let life flow without considering its purpose and brevity. When we do that, the brief moments pass quickly, and like that contrail our life is but a vapor that will soon pass. It dissipates and is gone with nothing visible remaining.
When we come to the end of our days and look back, how will those brief moments add up?
Have I lived a life filled with the purpose I was created for?
As an image bearer of God, have I filled the earth with His glory by abiding in Him, enjoying Him, and inviting others to know Him? Will those who come behind be able to see a visible path I’ve left for them to know and follow Him?
Are my brief moments weighty with eternal purpose?
How are you spending your brief moments today?