Saw a meme the other day that made me a laugh, a street prophet with a sign that said, “the beginning is near.” I really appreciate that attitude, one that calls us to re-examine our thinking about things.
What’s the difference between a beginning and an end? Nothing more that our attitudes about it, a mutually agreed upon delusion, a vain imagining really. New Years is a bit like that, out with the old, in with the new, as if at the stroke of midnight we mysteriously say our final good-byes to 2017, “parting is such sweet sorrow,” or perhaps, “may it never darken our door step again?”
Should Old Acquaintance be forgot,
and never thought upon;
The flames of Love extinguished,
and fully past and gone…..
Not to be impolite here, but if you’re going to forget me in a 24 hour span of time, I’m not sure I want to make your acquaintance in the first place. I assure you, I am quite unforgettable. Not only that, but the Flames of Love rose on the third day and are now seated in victory at the right hand of the Father. No love extinguisher can put out that flame. It is eternal.
God lives outside of time, we people are the ones trapped in our own perception of time, fatalists always looking for the finish line or for the arbitrary “end.” Also, could “the end” please have fireworks….melodrama, cool sound effects, fancy lighting and explosions perhaps? We kind of like our action adventure flicks, our disaster movies….as long as nobody real actually gets hurt, of course.
I’m chuckling here, my own love for that sense of accomplishment, that finality, that ending is a bit nerdy, but just give me a list with things on it I can cross off, mark “done,” and we are practically playing dopamine pinball here, sailing from bliss hit to bliss hit.
I lived long enough, I now know our world can end in an instant, everything we thought we knew can come crashing down around us, those earth shattering life events that rock your whole psyche, that cut to your core and leave you wondering who you even are. Something has ended and it will never be the same again, you will never be the same again.
We try to comfort people, especially people who have a child with a diagnoses they must adapt to, by telling them “it’s okay, you’ll find normal again. A new normal.” You will find normal again, you will adjust, adapt, the surrealism and anxiety will pass.
Those words are true too, you can take them to the bank. No matter how crazy life gets, be assured, you can find a new “normal.”
This too shall pass. There are times when the impermanence of our existence is a great blessing indeed, a comfort in hard times. It is inevitable, nothing stays the same forever….except God. God is the one constant, our mooring buoy that remains firmly planted. We are the ones being tossed about in the waves.
I too am a fatalist, the sheer joy of kicking bad things out the door, checking chores off a list, my very soul singing “thank God for endings,” once threatened to consume me, to kill me really. Fatalism, melodrama, bitterness, cynicism, are powerful weapons when life hurts, and they can give rise to some great gallows humor that makes mere survival possible.
Letting them go when they have served you so well, is not always so easy, but the condition of one’s heart in life is everything, it is our wi/fi signal to our Heavenly Father, it is the eyes in which we perceive the world around us.
So, “repent the end is near” makes me think, oh good grief people, don’t wait for the end! The end will come a million times in your life and leave you flattened out on the kitchen floor making snow angels and a babbling incoherently to yourself.
Repent because the beginning is near, repent because God is the Master of all plot twists, the One who can turn our endings in beginnings, our deaths into new life and life abundant. For all of eternity.
The really fun thing about God, although He is steadfast, unwavering, unchanging, He is also big, huge really, so much bigger than our brains can even handle. He doesn’t change, but we sure can discover new things about Him, be caught unawares, let Him surprise us and take our breath away.
I laugh sometimes when we try to put God in a box. We can’t even put a man in a box, not unto death, and not into those tidy cubby holes of our mind, where we try to keep people in their place, tucked away safe for us, easy to process, predictable.
Take God’s hand, step out of the box, and embrace the eternal. The beginning is near.