That Faraway Look (Skylines and Horizons part 4)

That faraway look…

There's a Japanese word for it: Boketto. Pretty much a literal translation.

But let's go one deeper: Far from being simple wistfulness, straining to maintain our vision can be difficult, in spite of the relative nearness of Heaven. Especially while we seek to enjoy the life God gives us to the fullest.

Whenever we take something for granted, somewhere back in the near or distant past, we must've had a blessing that we thought would continue without maintenance thereof. Or maybe we didn't thank God for it properly—if at all. And when we're taking something for granted, it's not long before we're tired of it, looking to something or someone else to fill that void. Humanity seems to be easily affected by and afflicted with a sort of spiritual nearsightedness. Time is flowing but there will come a time (?) when time will cease to flow.

In light of this, Paul makes a bold case for traveling light. In spite of all he'd seen and been through and been blessed with, he elected to forget the past and "reach forward unto those things which are before" (Philippians 3:13). There's a fine line between the correct response of gratitude and appreciation for our gifts, talents and possessions. And the worship of the same. It's not hard to distinguish between the two: if you feel overwhelmed in spite of doing what you love, or if you feel that you're nothing without it, simply turn to God and thank Him for whatever gift you might be utilizing at that moment. I believe that creativity and inspiration flow when we're not controlled by our gifts, but direct them to be used as unto God. And when we see possessions as tools that God can use in order for Him to better flow through our gifts and talents, then I believe we have things in the correct order. Love people and use things, not the other way around.

Any object, any possession, any idea, construct, or concept of mind is designed to pass away. To fade. It's the natural order of things. For instance, I can wear my shoes--and be grateful to God for them--enjoying them right up to the day they're unwearable. Only love, says Paul, is constant and eternal. Paul rounds out his list of transitory things with some other notables and then comes to the same conclusion in 1 Corinthians 13 (verse 8). And the expression and outpouring of love, while free, is far beyond price.

One reason for the failure of a marriage is because, during the honeymoon, the happy couple wasn't counting on coming down from the mountain of celebration to the valley of inevitable struggle. They didn't have that faraway look.

The point I'm seeking to illustrate is, without eternity in view, everything is skewed and time is warped.

With eternity in view, you realize every moment, that you are only here for a limited time. We're living forever. Think about it. Everything is transitory but this is no reason to pout and doubt. The fact that we have such a thing as age and dust and decay and rust has no bearing on the necessity of gratitude and worship. Everything is kept fresh when we see that everything is a gift (see James 1:17). And I think that this enjoyment and gratitude is one of the things that we take with us to Heaven. When Jesus says to "lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven where neither moth nor rust corrupt" (Matthew 6:20), He's giving us an eminently practical word of instruction. Because when we are anchored by things, our happiness is likely to be hampered and as such, less likely to look for--and look forward to--what God is doing around us. (And God is always doing something around us, nearby, within.) Consequently, when we stop looking for God to do wonders (that's all He does, by the way: see Psalms 72:18), we may end up not seeing them when they do happen and responding incorrectly even if we're present when they do. Are we prepared for the fallout of a major supernatural miracle happening in our time? Questions will be leveled and the world is gonna look to us for answers. We need to be ready!

Wishes and Wants, Dreams and Desires

Life Sentences (Prison Life part 1)