Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Not the End of the Line

I'm pretty picky about the graphics I use when I write a blog post. If we don't already have a photo in our collection that is suitable for a particular post, Tom or I may take one that illustrates the story or turn to Google to help me find something suitable. Sometimes the perfect photo pops up in just a matter of minutes; other times I search and search before I find a picture that is, at best, adequate.

So when I wrote about my experiences on the city bus in the 50s and 60s, I scoured the internet in hopes of finding the perfect picture. I looked at dozens of pictures before deciding on the painting of the great red bus from years ago, bus 132.

The post was published before I realized where the bus was headed -- to the cemetery! Look closely, and you'll see it on the front of the bus in big white letters.

Indeed, aren't we all on the bus for the cemetery?

At present we are updating our will. We've got our pre-arrangements cared for and the family knows what to do when we're gone. I don't mean to sound maudlin, but if you are alive now, one day you will die. I didn't learn this from a Gallup poll or a library book. It's just reality. We live as if it weren't true, that we are immortal, but we aren't.

Most of us pursue life with gusto. We love life. We pour ourselves into it and work hard to accumulate the goods and experiences that will fulfill us; we relish the relationships that bring us joy. We cram as much into life as we possibly can, not wanting to miss out on anything. We live like this life is all we've got.

But that isn't so. There is eternity, and that lasts a long, long time.

I was in a Sunday School classroom the other day and my friend Ginger, who, with her husband, teaches the 4th and 5th graders at church, pointed out a 1x2 inch paper taped to the place where the wall and the ceiling of the room meet. She said that it represents our lives, and she held her fingers two inches apart. "That's all the longer our life is, compared to all eternity," she said, as she moved her arm in a motion that circled the room two or three times. "We need to live with eternity in view."

That's for sure. This little breath of time that we have is really just a shadow anyway. It is to prepare us for what's next.

I realize our bus is headed to the cemetery, but, as a follower of Jesus, I know that when it arrives I will meet Him face to face and spend eternity with Him. I want to live my life with the joy and gusto that He offered when He said, "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (John 10:10). And I want to keep my focus on eternity. After all, the cemetery isn't the end of the line.