Christianity 201

March 9, 2012

The Best is Yet to Come

Today’s contribution is from Sheldon Bungay, who not only happens to be the Captain of a nearby Salvation Army Corps, but is also someone I’ve gotten to know personally.  It appeared first on his blog under the title, More Tomorrows! and you’re encouraged — you get pictures — to read it there.  NOTE: This was originally published on Valentine’s Day.

On Saturday evening of this past week, my wife and I were watching a TV show in which an elderly man had taken ill. He was sent to a local hospital and then chose to go ahead with an elective surgical procedure which his family was totally against. Just before the nurses wheeled him to the Operating Room, his son tried in vain one last time to convince his father to not go ahead with surgery. “Dad, you are being unreasonable!” was his last attempted effort before his father put up his hand for his son to stop talking and then entered into an emotional discourse that immediately not only challenged the son, but also me the viewer. His words were these:

“But one day, you’re gonna wake up, and all the big stuff, all the milestones you’ve been looking forward to – graduation, wedding, having kids, your grandkids – it’s all behind you. It’s all over. All you got is a bunch of yesterdays, and very few tomorrows.”

I have replayed these words in my mind over and over again during the last three days and I am troubled!

I am sure the author of these words was trying to get the point across that this man had very few days left on this earth, and his son should let his father live his last days however he wanted, with a sense of enjoyment, fulfillment, laughter, and fun. But I was left troubled, I was troubled because of the reality that so many people in this world today live their lives thinking the exact same way as this elderly hospital patient. They believe, I must live my life now to the fullest, because soon it will all end and everything I looked forward to will be over, and then what? Nothing!

I am troubled because this couldn’t be further from the truth in my life and in the lives of so many of my closest friends and family members. While we enjoy the events of our lives, and while we may experience a sense of disappointment or nostalgia for the past highlights of our lives, these things pale in comparison to the life that is still yet to come.

What I am referring to is the reward that is referenced by Paul in Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”

This is his goal in life, his one true aim is to have God smile at him upon their first encounter in Heaven. ”Whatever we consider to be a joy here on earth will be heightened millions of times beyond anything we can conceive when we get to heaven. The apostle Paul put it this way: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

Today is Valentine’s Day, and my day started perfectly. I awoke to see three of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen in my life, that of my beautiful wife, my princess daughter, and my mini-me son all handing me chocolates, cards, and gifts that they had created. These three people have brought more joy into my life than I could have ever imagined. And It is because of this reality that I am absolutely pumped and can’t wait to get to heaven. Because if the joy that they bring me here on earth is heightened millions of times by God in heaven, then heaven is something I’m looking forward to.

Yes, my childhood, my high school graduation, my wedding day, my ordination, the birth of my children, are all things that are behind me and things that I cherish from my yesterdays, but I don’t just have a few tomorrows here on earth, I have many more in heaven, and I hope I’ll see all of you in those tomorrows!

“Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19

~Sheldon Bungay