Encouragement for Today - Feb. 10, 2011
February 10, 2011
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)
In the words of Henri Nouwen, "Our short lives on earth are sowing times."
January is a time to take stock, reorder priorities, and revamp schedules before plowing ahead into the new year with renewed vigor. And that's what last month was for me. I did meal planning, creating weekly menu options. I did chore planning, creating some cleaning checklists. I did task planning, so I can move effectively forward in my work and on my projects. I also set up a new calendar system to track it all - that's quite ambitious for a "type B" girl like me!
Nouwen's words remind me, however, that while I'm planning how I'll order my days and meet my current goals, I can't lose sight of what is temporary versus what is eternal.
How I will stay on top of my household's laundry this week is temporary - but how I love and raise my children is eternal.
How I get to all my emails is temporary - how I answer God's call is eternal.
What I put on the dinner table tonight is temporary - how I regard, feast on, and serve the Bread of Life is eternal.
Whether I complete my errands efficiently is temporary - whether I run my life's race with perseverance and joy is eternal.
Planning and organizing, scheduling and strategizing, can help me live life in a way that secures time to nurture what's eternal. But I must make sure - amidst the cooking, cleaning, planning, working and sleeping - that I take and keep an eternal focus. Because it won't just happen, no matter how organized I am.
I must fix my eyes on what is unseen.
And that is a challenge because the surface-things of life dance constantly before me, often convincing me they are most important. But learning to see the unseen is a challenge worth rising to.
Our short lives here are sowing times so let's you and I sow while we can. For a time is coming when the chance to store up treasure in heaven has passed. A time is coming when you and I will no longer be able to witness the truth and love of Christ to those still lost. Now is the time to sow into eternity.
"If there were no resurrection of the dead," Nouwen explained, "everything we live on earth would come to nothing." Instead, we will be raised from the dead - along with every eternal thing we've done.
What's eternal will withstand, and be rewarded.
Our hours on earth are the time we're given to plant the seeds we and others will reap for eternity. I think I'll revisit my plans for 2011 today with that in mind. And I'll look for ways to impact eternity in this common, ordinary day full of laundry and lists.
Dear Lord, give me eyes to see the unseen today. Help me discern what is temporary and what is eternal, and handle both well. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do you know Jesus -- the One who longs to spend eternity with you?
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Pause and pray, asking God to bring the eternal into view in your life today.
Read the story of a woman wanting water to temporarily quench her thirst, who finds a water that will flow through her soul eternally: John 4:1-42.
Where have my eyes been fixed lately?
Luke 21:33, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." (NIV)
2 Cor. 4:18, "There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever." (MSG)
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