Thursday, February 9, 2017

God puts eternity in man's heart

After reading this article I said, YES!!
Finally someone
put into words what so often lies hidden in my heart.
I will relate it here on my blog tonight....
for me, to always have access to,
 and for you as well.
 because maybe you have felt this same way.
It is a little on the long side,
more than I usually write,
but I will take the time to get it all on.
Eli spotted this cloud when we walked outside after dinner one night last week.
Somehow it just works with this piece.
I hope you love it as much as I did.❤

From The Blazing Center
Written by Randy Alcantar
Pastor at Cross of Grace Church
El Paso, Texas

Why Are Our Happiest Moments Tinged With Sadness?

I think the first time I felt it I was staring up at the sky.

As the sun went down a few stars came out, then a few more, then the sky split open. On a moonless night, the Milky Way stretched from one end of the horizon to the other.  As the astronomers walked us through the constellations their voices faded until I felt it.

It came over me as dizziness, then joy, then loss, then longing.
It was so beautiful that I felt....almost....sad.

I felt it again on a beach holding my wife's hand with my parents playing with my two sons nearby as the sun was setting. I took a picture and looked at the picture and the world felt like it slowed down to a heartbeat. It was a perfect moment but sorrowful because it was fleeting.

I felt it as I turned the last page of the book I was reading. The evil vanquished, the good prevailing.
After so much loss the characters said goodbye. It had been a better book than I'd dared dream, 
and yet I felt like a hole was ripped open in my heart
 because that world was over and I couldn't go back.

Why is it that so many of our happiest moments are tinged with sadness?

At first I thought it was just me,
then I found that CS Lewis felt it too.
He writes in the Weight of Glory.....

"The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust in them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing.
These things.....the beauty, the memory of our own past......are good images of what we really desire, but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshipers, for they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not yet visited."

In moments of great, overwhelming beauty, sometimes we cannot help but feel a great joy and a great sadness. Why? Because it's as if in that moment our hearts are awakened and we finally feel the full longing we push down deep within ourselves. The longing bursts out because it sees a glimmer and a glimpse of what we long for, only to find it not yet fully revealed.

Ecclesiastes says cryptically, that God "has put eternity in man's heart," yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. (Ecc, 3:11).
While there is always a lot going on in each line of Ecclesiastes, we at least can clearly see the preacher put his finger on this longing we have and the reason for it. 
We long deeply because God has put eternity in our hearts.

There is something in us saying, "This can't be all there is."

On normal days we settle for a few minutes of quiet before our phone starts pinging alerts, a decent meal, a novel distraction after work. But moments of sublime beauty remind us that we long for so much more. We long for a return to the garden before sin entered the world and it was all wrecked and broken. We long as Graeme Goldsworthy would say, 
to be in God's presence, 
in God's place, 
under God's rule....
with all the unending beauty it entails.

In this world we glimpse so much of God's goodness and we should thank Him for it. And yet the best Christmas is tinged with sadness because of the family member who recently passed away. The best vacation is tinged with sadness because we know it will end. We know that we can't have it all. The problem is that deep down we know that we can't have it all. The problem is that deep down we were made for it all.

I am trying to learn to embrace the fact that my happiest moments of life may only make me long for more. That's okay. I was made for more. One day, everything from our relationships to our past to our future will be renewed. and the moment we imagine true happiness will be eclipsed by the weight of something truer and better than we can even dream today.

So I'll keep searching for drops of this everywhere I can find it,
 and I'll keep longing with CS Lewis:

"And with that plunge back into my past there arose at once, almost like heartbreak, the memory of Joy itself, the knowledge that I once had what I now lacked for years, that I was returning at last from exile and desert lands to my own country."
(Surprised by Joy)

The End

So there it is.
I wonder if anyone read till the end.....
if this touched anyone else.
If so, you are my soul mate. I will know you in heaven.
I would love to know you now.
"At first I felt it was just me."

"....there is no intermission in the joys of heaven.....
there shall be no expiration of them.
When God has once planted His saints in paradise,
He will never transplant them.
'They shall be forever with the Lord.' "
Thomas Watson.

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