Summary: We forget what the Word tells us about eternal life, and as a result, this amnesia leads to disappointment, dissatisfaction, and sometimes, poor choices
March 10, 2013
An 85 year old couple, married almost 60 years, died in a car crash. They had been in good health the last ten years, mostly because of the wife's interest in a healthier diet. When they reached the pearly gates, St. Peter took them to their mansion, which was decked out with a beautiful kitchen and master bath suite with a Jacuzzi.
As they "oohed and aahed", the man asked Peter how much all this was going to cost. "It's free," Peter replied, “Remember, this is Heaven."
Next they went out back to see the championship golf course that their home backed up to. They would have golfing privileges every day, and each week the course changed to a new one representing the great golf courses on Earth.
The man asked, "What are the green fees?" "This is heaven," St. Peter replied. "You play for free."
Next they went to the clubhouse and saw the lavish buffet lunch with the cuisines of the world laid out. "How much to eat?" asked the man. "Don't you understand yet?" St. Peter asked. "This is heaven. It's free!"
"Well, where are the low fat and low cholesterol foods?" the man asked timidly. "That's the best part...you can eat as much as you like, of whatever you like, and you never get fat and you never get sick. This is Heaven."
The man looked at his wife and said, "You and your stupid bran muffins. I could have been here ten years ago!”
Knowing what’s coming, the immediate and ultimate impact of our choices, often affects the choices we make today, and the attitudes we have today about all of life.
As believers in Christ, we know what’s ahead when this life ends – at least in part - because of what God’s Word tells us. Yet, I believe at least some of the time, most of us suffer from what you might call Eternity Amnesia.
We forget what the Word tells us about eternal life, and as a result, this amnesia leads to disappointment, dissatisfaction, and sometimes, poor choices.
We like to know what’s coming. We’re wired to want to have an idea of what lies ahead. Most of us do not like to go blindly into our future, whatever we’re doing. When we go somewhere, we want to know what to expect.
Knowing what’s coming generally changes the way we respond today. It has an impact on the choices we make. It can change our behavior or our attitudes. For example, if we get up in the morning, and we hear on the radio that the weather is going to get colder, we’ll bring along a warmer coat or jacket. We make a different choice about what to wear.
If we’re driving somewhere and hear that there’s an accident or construction, on the road we’re traveling, we may decide to take an alternate route.
If we hear that something is dangerous, we’ll usually try to avoid that activity or product, or at least use it properly.
If we learn that something is good for us, like bran muffins, we’ll often try to add that to our lives somehow.
I couldn’t resist showing you these other warning signs I came across.
We like to have a sense of how things will go, don’t we? Why else do we ever plan anything, rather than just live our entire lives flying by the seat of our pants? Don’t we all know someone who seems to live that way – and what word would best describe their lives? Perhaps “chaos?”
Knowledge is power, it’s been said.
I read about a study once that said that a large percentage of the enjoyment of a vacation for many people is in the planning. Deciding to go somewhere and do something, and then planning the trip are major factors in how much we enjoy a vacation.
We also sometimes will sacrifice something now, for something we know will be better, or needed, sometime later. Why else do we save money at all? Why do we eat bran muffins instead of donuts? Why do we exercise?
For some of us it’s fun, but for most of us, the exercise is primarily so we can enjoy better health today and down the road. Or just to look better. I like to say that I exercise to support my eating habit.
We innately understand, or at least we should, that what we choose to do today affects what our life will be like tomorrow. Scripture speaks of these ideas often.
Romans 2:6-8 (ESV) 6 He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.