Seeing the world through a theological lens...
Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
We live each day both in the knowledge and in the denial of our own mortality. Our light, as Jesus calls it, is with us for just a short while. It burns within us like a lamp, this spark of divine light, and it feels wonderful to be alive most days. What a gift- to breathe, to be among the living- in whatever physical state we may be. Life is a gift because God has given it to us. We worry about losing it and surround ourselves with stuff to give us a sense of security, and permanence. We want to leave a legacy; to be remembered.
But Jesus tells us, "You cannot make one hair on your head white or black, you can not add one inch to your height..." and "which of you by worrying can add one hour to your life?" These statements, while they speak of God's care for us, also unsettle us; that the lives we've been given, in reality, don't belong to us, but belong to the One who created us.
We live In deaths shadow. (I know, It's not the most uplifting thing I've ever written.)
That awareness however, brings an urgency to life; to living! That we are finite creatures, not knowing what year or day or hour we might be returned to God's arms, makes every second count. But it also frees us from getting swept up in things that don't bring real fulfillment to our lives; things that don't last.
Tolstoy wrote: Our lives are passed in the presence of death. While working individually for your future, you well know that the future will give you nothing but death. And death will destroy all you worked for. Thus, it is clear that life for oneself can never have any meaning... we must live so that death cannot destroy our life.
Jesus gives us, through his life, an illustration of what a fulfilled life looks like. One turns from the things the world values, (money, power, ego) and embraces a life of service to others. It prompts me to think about the things in my own life that bring fulfillment, meaning, purpose, joy...
Sometimes I put off doing those things, or being with those people, praying for, healing those relationships, or donating toward those causes. I find other things to distract me (Martha, Martha). Yet, we don't know the hour when the thief is coming. So Jesus encourages us, to be alert; keep our lamps lit. And Let your light shine before all. Live each moment doing the things that matter, with the people they matter to; live for those whose lives might be made better through our actions.
When we live for the things the world values, our lives are lost. Moth and rust destroys all we've worked for. When we live for others we live beyond our lives; we participate In something bigger than ourselves. Living out the teachings of Jesus brings us to a place of true happiness where our lamps shine with the eternal light of God within us, that nothing can destroy.
Peace and Light to you,