“And He said to the human race, “The fear of the LORD–that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.” Job 28:28 NIV
This roller coaster ride on planet Earth is a temporary one. You get on the ride at birth and you get off the ride when you die. For those of us who believe in life after death, the way that we live out our time here determines whether we enjoy the ride and/or make the ride unbearable for ourselves and others around us. It determines whether we achieve Heaven or Hell. It determines whether we dwell in the New Heaven and the New Earth.
A New Heaven and a New Earth
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Revelation 21: 1-4
As we see events unfolding around violent natural and man-made disasters,we are reminded that life is fragile. Nothing is permanent on this earth–all is subject to change. The earth revolves day after day, and mankind hurries about doing what mankind loves to do most–learn and progress, yet this is not permanent; it can change. New ways of doing things emerge everyday, and unique, never-presented ideas are an everyday occurrence also. Searching for new methods and ideas is a good thing as long as it is in the area of true progress–for to invent something new based on a proven standard has no merit of its own if the original invention is still highly functional. Why reinvent the wheel?
Nothing that we do on this earth is going to stand forever. Landmarks crumble and fade away; civilizations rise and fall, and mankind still struggles on in the hope that the next era or the next invention is going to secure peace and prosperity for generation after generation to come. Each new government enters into existence with high ideals considered new and different from the former ruling state. They quickly discover that there is a reason why events unfold in a certain way. It is called lack of wisdom or poor foresight.
“For The LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”
Notably, because of both the human tendency to desire change, and the natural progression of life on earth as witnessed in natural disasters, everything has a season. This has been recorded throughout history and in Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8.
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Nothing remains the same, especially in this 21st century that welcomes new innovations that come and go so rapidly. As an example, Windows 8© is now on board. Many people have not completely grasped Windows 7© yet. Each new technology eventually brings about the demise or retirement of the previous technology. Planned obsolescence works. Vinyl records bowed out to the tune of eight track tapes to cassettes to CDs to Midis to MP3 players; VCR tapes gave way to DVDs of many varied types. Now we are seeing 33 rpm records returning.
Life is hurrying along so fast that it leaves us breathless and unsure whether to jump on board the new train or to remain on the old train. I get the impression that this may not result in our own choice–life is hurrying each one of us along on a swift track that may become dangerous at any moment. It is so swift that we have forgotten how to pay attention to the important things, such as the state of our souls and spirits, as each new adventure rushes by. We get so caught up into what everyone else wants for us that we forget to think about what we want for ourselves. So here comes the question. Exactly what do we want for ourselves? This is undeniably an individual thing. Everyone, from the time that they begin to perceive the way of the world, starts to weigh and evaluate what portion is most interesting and advantageous for them. Where do I fit in? Why am I here? What’s in it for me?
It is your own attitude, perceptions, and choices that fix a value to your experiences. Even negative events are teachers. They help you to avoid making the same mistakes over and over again. If you choose to learn from past mistakes you can make an effort to dodge those obvious pitfalls that make life hard to bear and which may have an everlasting influence on your future.
The concept here is of using wisdom, which is knowledge gained through either your own experiences, or the experiences of others. Wisdom guides through understanding into application. When we speak of wisdom, we speak of making wise choices based on the direct observation or engagement, or the influence of those who have gone before us. Unwise choices can lead to destruction or death. At the very least, unwise choices can cause us to have to suffer the painful consequences of our actions. Responsible people think and act responsibly.
It can be frustrating to share your life experiences with someone in an attempt to help them to avoid some of life’s obvious traps–then have them declare that they would rather learn through their own mistakes. They are not wrong in this choice, they are simply opting to disregard the wisdom born of trial and pain that is meant to be shared as a witness to others. Joy is also meant to be shared. We walk this journey in the company of others, and whatever we can do or say to make that load brighter and lighter will be beneficial.
You are never alone in this journey through life. You did not come here alone, and you will not leave alone. Why is this? Each one of us is tied into each other’s existence as either family, friends, acquaintances, or strangers. Everything that we say or do affects those around us even if we imagine that our actions influence no one but ourselves. It is possible to be alone physically or mentally while performing an action, yet it does affect others because it becomes a part of who you are. You carry that knowledge or revelation wherever you go, good or bad, and others are influenced by it.
This is a generation that prides itself on being mentally and physically independent. That independence extends to all areas of life. Older mores and values are considered out-moded; new ways of thinking and doing things predominate. While mankind continues to seek and pursue avenues of life that are self-centered and not for the common good, we are faced with a growing disregard for what will help our neighbors to thrive and survive in a world that is shrinking every day and providing little hope for the masses.
Do we have an individual right to have our own way in all things? I think not. Earth has many inhabitants and there is no room for one or two individuals to dictate to all the rest. We are all in this together. What is crucial is that we seek truth, for truth sets us free. The argument could be, “what is truth?” Truth is found in undeniable standards, methods, and ideologies that have stood the test of time as producers of a happy-spirited people [if they have been willing to embrace that truth]. This truth manifests itself in a personal relationship with us all. GOD is Truth. Does this mean that every day in Christ is flooded with joy? Is there never a moment when our world seems threatened by all of the chaos around us? Absolutely not. The Christian walk can be painful. There are no guarantees found in the Word of GOD that state that sorrow, tragedy, loss, sickness, or death will not touch us. What we do find are scriptural passages that speak of a Savior who has sent The Comforter to walk with us throughout this earthly existence.
“And I will ask The Father, and He will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever; The Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him, nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.”
John 14:16 NIV
To Be Continued…
All scripture quotes retrieved from Bible Gateway.com via the world wide web.
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