-1 Chronicles 29:15 ESV
David Foster recounts an interesting Greek tale;
“When the Athenians built the Temple of Minerva, a statue to be placed at the very top was needed. A poor mechanic competed for the prize against a wealthy sculptor. The day came for raising the stone statue. The sculptor’s piece was unveiled amid much applause. But it was so small that, as it ascended to the top, its beauty disappeared, and when it reached the top, it seemed like a shapeless block. The statue of the mechanic was next unveiled. It seemed huge and crude, and resembled nothing divine or human. But as it ascended, its apparent deformity disappeared; it grew more beautiful at a distance, and finally when it reached the top, it seemed animated with divine beauty and life. The mechanic won the laurel and was borne off amid the shouts of the multitude.”
It is funny how dramatically things change with perspective. Often time I wonder about the perspective of the believer and ask myself the question, “how should what I know about God and His plan for the world take effect in my daily life?” Life is, after all, a flurry of many things that don’t really matter. This is true to the point that we struggle to discern what truly does have value in our day to day activities. Such was the struggle of the author of Ecclesiastes. “Vanity of vanity” was his exclamation as he recounted the temporary nature of the present world. There was nothing entirely creative or unique about this conclusion. All of us know this to be true, though we may try to convince ourselves otherwise. The Wisdom of Ecclesiastes comes not in the course of the book, but in where the author ends;
The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. –Ecc 12:13-14
It might be a great comfort to us to know that, while there are a great many things that don’t matter in this life, there are a very few that do, and these are the ones which should draw our attention. As believers we can be distracted by many things in this world; what we should eat, what we should wear, where we should live, where we should work, ect… The problem is that we, as human beings have limited time and attention in life. We are called as believers who are heaven bound to be concerned with the work of heaven. Heaven ought to, as E. M. Bounds wrote, "fill our hearts and hands, our manner and our conversation, our character and our features, that all would see that we are foreigners, strangers to this world, natives of a nobler clime, fairer than this”. How does an eternal perspective change your life? If it doesn’t than you are not living in light of it. In Mere Christianity C.S. Lewis wrote, “Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’; aim at earth and you will get neither.” As believers we are called citizens of heaven, investing in eternity, and in the ever enduring work of the gospel. If we lose sight of that in our day to day, then no matter what we do will be meaningless in light of eternity. Where is your focus?