Airports are an awesome place to visit. All kinds of drama will take place at the gate where passengers either depart or arrive. There are tears of joy when loved ones arrive, while in the departure zone arms are holding on just a little bit longer when it’s time to say goodbye. I believe the same kind of drama – or maybe more so – is going on in the spiritual world around us when a child of God comes home! We can read about that in the 15th chapter of Luke’s gospel. In this chapter Jesus tells us a story about a son who first went missing and then thankfully returned home. Every day the son’s father was standing at the edge of his property checking to see whether or not his son was coming home. And when he finally was, he ran! The father rushed out to meet him and received him in a warm embrace. What a huge relief, jubilant joy is written all over this moving scene! We can tell from that story that Heaven’s door is truly wide open for anyone who wants to return to God. It gives us a glimpse of God’s yearning heart.
Let’s go back to the airport for a minute: When parents are seeing off their grown-up kids in the departure zone do you think it’s “out of sight, out of mind” once their children boarded their plane? If you are a parent you’re probably shaking your head in disbelief right now. “What a weird question!” you’d say, “Of course not!” Well, neither does our Heavenly Father ever lose sight of any of His children. His heart is always with them – from their first cry to their very last breath.
Have you ever noticed that we remain our parent’s children, no matter how old we become? There is no age expiration date like: “Oh you’re 21, now you’re on your own, buddy!” In the same fashion we’re always God’s sons and daughters, we’re always His children, no matter how much time passes. Why am I writing that? Well, I noticed that we have mixed feelings towards getting older. While we gain experience with advanced age we really don’t like to be called “old.” Have you ever picked up on the saying: “It gets old”, which basically means we’re getting tired of something? Using “old” and “tired” interchangeably is just one of many indicators that old age is simply not very popular in our culture. I think it’s good to step out of our culture’s way of thinking from time to time and try to see things a little differently. Age groups should not define who we are; and although our bodies wear out, our soul will not. Our soul is ageless and lives forever!
Our time on Earth on the other hand is very limited and will be over sooner or later. So one day each one of us will be able to look back and remember the good ol’ days on Earth, which compared to eternity is just a bleep on the radar, a tiny second; nevertheless it is a consequential and meaningful second, a time where we can make an enormous difference. Our time on Earth is precious; it’s the chance of a lifetime! Looking back on our life there might be some regrets – and I am absolutely certain we will not be regretting that we did not make more money. We might be regretting moments we have missed with our loved ones, or, we might be regretting if we missed significant God-moments. His heartbeat is pulsating all throughout creation, and yet somehow we missed it. He writes us love letters with every glorious sunrise and sunset, and still, we missed that. He intervened on our behalf through His Son Jesus, and we missed it. He is the Father who constantly keeps an eye out hoping to see us coming to rush into our embrace. Let’s not miss out on His embrace – let’s not miss out on the most important things in life!
Here on Earth we will leave a legacy. We will leave behind all the love that we give and the difference that we make as a result. Obviously, we won’t be able to make a difference on Earth once we passed on; David once pondered about that praying (Psalm 30:9): “What will you gain if I die, if I sink into the grave? Can my dust praise you? Can it tell of your faithfulness?”
So let’s make a difference now, while we’re still here; I believe this is what the Psalmist is referring to in his beautiful prayer: “teach us to realize the brevity of life.” Each moment here is a gift. We need to use it wisely.