Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Eternity (03/10/11)
TITLE: Along the Way to Beautiful
By Coleene VanTilburg
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In the dead of winter, on a bleak, cold and dark afternoon, eternity’s definition became clear. It struck like lightning and then enveloped my total being, spiritual, emotional, mental and physical. Eternity was just not an abstract noun, it became tangible, palpable within my own beating heart; a heart I thought just might quit beating too. In previous seasons, eternity existed, but oh, it was so far off. Reading the map at one time in my life, I knew the latitudes and longitudes of this destination; I knew the One and only way to get there, and accepted by faith this truth. It was a done deal and I had so much more traveling to do. What was my perspective? Too many side trips and vacations tired this weary traveler, forgetting the true destination.
Now, someone arrived before me. God took him on a short-cut and he beat me to the finish line. He is there now, in glory with His Lord and Savior; his human heart silenced but his spiritual heart singing the praises of his grace-giving Father. God knew. God orchestrated from the beginning that restless road that would lead to eternal life with Him. I want to be there, I want to have that same mind-set. God dusted off the map of my soul and with His compass of compassion began to direct me again with a new eternal perspective.
My dreary winters, now blossom into glorious springs; the tender tendrils of dormant bulbs poke through the sun-warmed soil. Seeds from the harvest past are planted and watered in a well-prepared ground. The summer sun shines its rays and the growing vine reaches to the Heavens. The sunflower graces me every summer, filling my window with splendor until its short life is through and it bows its majestic head; well done good and faithful servant. Bountiful in color and flavor, thanksgiving and awe fill this amateur gardener’s barn. Each new season draws me closer to eternity, as the blessings and inspiration nurture back to life a dormant seed.
What has God done? From the beginning, He has created us to bring Him glory. The angels sing of His glory in Heaven. Who is to testify here on Earth? Many proclaim their own glory, not recognizing that it is a faded glory filled with the weeds of neglect and the blight of blame from others. Can you imagine eternity? It is to live with the hope that is within us—anxiously awaiting our own personal road towards the same destination where God’s promise is fulfilled to His children. Memories and everyday realities remind me that this world remains temporary. Everything I do and think needs to make an eternal difference, and in my humanity, this is not possible but only through Christ who gives me the strength and wisdom to continue. I serve a God who gives and takes away. My heart beats now for eternity. Even in the pain of this life, He promises me the new bud of spring; life again after the tears of winter. Eternity is hope, a perspective that sees and proclaims His Truth set in hearts from the beginning; that soon everybody who believes is made beautiful in Him, perfected bodies alive in Him, living forever and ever in His Glory. I reach to touch eternity; close in my sight. Hang on, for I am refueled for His will and on my way.
Lord, thank you for your promise. Through your amazing grace, the lost get found, and the wayward get set straight, put back on course. May you receive glory through all You make beautiful. Amen.
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