XL

Soon this little time on earth will flash by. I am presently a citizen of the United States, and grateful for it, but that will soon pass. This brief country with its mutable rights and privileges arises like a bubble in time, to burst or diminish and eventually to exist as a memory. My present incarnation is obviously set to expire as well, but I have hope of such indestructible life as can outlast the galaxies, and time itself will not prevail against the one to whom I have been eternally united. The defining moment in this first stage of my existence will be the return with glory and splendor of Jesus Christ, my savior, who will burn down this world, and along with that every part of me which is not that renewed being of the New Creation. That is something to keep in mind during this present time. Then I hope to be removed from the habitation of my present exile, and the only thing that will matter is not my character nor my health or any accomplishments or possessions, but the believing heart’s desire. And that also is a good one to keep in mind: Jesus Christ is not looking for people with good character who are able to behave well, he is coming for those who believe in him and because of that long for him and know they need him, not those who think they deserve him. I have come to understand that character matters to a moralist, just as behavior matters to a legalist, but neither are what God looks for, since he looks for the undeserving to display his excellence, to give them another’s character and behavior, that of Jesus Christ through the ordinary supernatural work of the Holy Ghost. Of course, it is more about the how of it, isn’t it? Like so many important things. Character and behavior matter, but not those you can boast of. It is good to keep that in mind when one is forty, it renews expectation. God dwells with the contrite, and there is nothing like advancing age to bring contrition.

Here is another interesting consideration: what can we desire that we know and understand? Desire, I know, is stronger than understanding and can outstrip it; we know we can have a desire for we know not what. And with God is the satisfaction of that which we were made to desire and which we do not even know or otherwise possess. Which is why perhaps one is exhorted out of self-absorption through sober self-assessment and then to a self-inattention; and not an aimless one, but one directed at the contemplation of a true object of a desire that understands not itself, one that has to originate in belief and is possessed entirely by faith. There may I be found however long I have to wait, which should not be long now!

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