Spirituality

Eternity and Identity

The fact that I am, that we all are, eternal beings struck me in a new way recently. For some reason it suddenly seemed strange; another one of those taken-for-granted Christian concepts. It seems like a pretty huge thing to take for granted, but I don’t know… you hear John 3:16 rattled off enough times and its electrifying, supernatural promise can get a little bit lost.  I don’t act as though I’ll be alive in some capacity forever. Generally, I think about my life in mortal terms. The decisions I make, while they might impact my post-death experiences, are usually made for my immediate, or at least foreseeable future. Certainly my conscience makes its argument and I take my moral and religious obligations into consideration. And perhaps that’s all we can do, since most of us don’t have foresight that extends beyond the grave in a literal way.

Even if this awareness doesn’t perceptibly change the way I behave, thinking of people as eternal subtly changes my view of humans. Hehehe. I’m currently envisioning a room full of eternal souls instead of just bodies… how odd!

Could the ways I contribute to the development of my daughter’s heart and mind have eternal ramifications? I’m not trying to make parents feel even greater burden than they already do, here… just following a train of thought. 🙂

I have a very hard time understanding who I am apart from my body. For example, I might feel strongly, passionately moved by something and attribute it to my unique personality and spiritual self but how much of that is in fact attributable to the chemicals and hormones at work in my body, shaping my emotions? I don’t know what the soul is without the body. I don’t know what kind of existence we will lead after death, what kind of individuality we will retain. I spent some time reading verses about life after death yesterday and this morning. While the Bible gives us plenty of references, there is also still plenty of mystery as far as I’m concerned.

So, I’m curious: In your interactions with people, are you ever conscious of their immortality?

Happy Sunday!

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3 thoughts on “Eternity and Identity

  1. Enjoyed that post! No matter who I interact with, whether it be a friend, family member, neighbor, or the clerk at the Best Buy or grocery store, I am consistently and consciously thinking to myself, “Where is this person in their walk with YHVH? Do they know Him? Do they believe He even exists?” I usually have some sort of conversation with them (the ones I don’t personally know) concerning this issue in order for me to make at least an educated guess. I suppose my Elohim has sort of ‘trained’ my brain to just think this way over time. So, because of the daily renewal of my mind, spiritual conditions of myself and others I interact with are almost always in my thoughts. 🙂

  2. “There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations–these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit–immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of the kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously–no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinners–no mere tolerance, or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment. Next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbor is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat, the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.” C.S. Lewis, from The Weight of Glory

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