I would like to not finish this commentary for the good reason that the Lord has returned to take me back to Heaven. We shall see.
For now, I mostly live on the restless side of anticipation for His appearance; and on my tougher days, I all but demand it. I routinely hear others petitioning for His imminent return as well. The excitement is building as the big day draws near, understandably.
Which makes a body wonder—how to strike the balance between longing for His return, while simultaneously keeping grounded enough to live usefully in the present? Or, put more down-to-earthly, how to not succumb to one of two extremes? On the one hand, being so fixated on that future day so as to manage poorly the challenging realities of the present (that’s definitely my deal). On the other, habitually pushing aside any thoughts of that great future so as to more brazenly partake of the false-comfort seductions of a messed-up world (wait! that’s my deal too). Whichever the deal, neither is my wisest course, since both modes of living preclude my best means of understanding what in the world I’m supposed to be doing day-to-day and earthbound in the meantime. I mean, of what usefulness am I? Why am I still here?
Plainly this: I remain here in the present for a future reason, same as you. For the eternal fates of souls awaits (rhyme by happy accident) the outcome of God working through the body of Christ here and now. Here, in the present, where we do well to live fanatically for Christ, fully aware that there are eternal implications for all involved. We’re talking big stakes here.
So, how to strike the balance? I’m sure that was the original question; and I tried to answer, I did, I did. But I can’t imagine my first attempt satisfied many. So I will try to provide a better answer—while still conspicuously present on planet Earth to write all this, alas—that will surely satisfy. One that comes straight from the heart of God, and goes exactly like this: “He keeps Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee” (Is 26:3).
Isn’t that something? So simple a truth. So largely untried. Keep my eyes on God and never stop. This is how I can live usefully while still keeping watch for His return (Mt 24:42). And though I want this with all my heart, likely, I will still continue to bounce between my modes of restless anticipation and presumptuous demand, and my obsessions, meantime, with writing it all out will continue.
However, obsessions aside, at least through this writing business I have landed upon the very perspective I now hope to develop into a full-fledged habit—a way of living usefully in the present by reaching others for God, while waiting peacefully for His return, which I still I crave like there’s no tomorrow. Meanwhile, I wait. And I write. And I wait.
I hope this encourages you today to wait usefully for God’s return.
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