From early on in our childhood, there is great attempt to instill in us a drive to be successful. Get good grades, have good behavior, make good friends, do good in sports, go to college, get a good job, get married, start a family–you get the point. The problem is, is that when all is said and done, one is left wondering, what’s next?
In the recent film Boyhood (spoiler alert!), while sending her youngest off to college, Mom breaks down:
This is the worst day of my life. I knew this day would come, except why is it happening now? First I get married, have kids, end up with two ex-husbands, go back to school, get my degree, get my Masters, send both my kids off to college. What’s next? My own f@$!%&* funeral? [Starts crying] I just thought it would have been better.
That’s the story of our lives. We’re born. We live. We die. What’s next?
As much as we would all like to experience our “best life now,” the truth of the matter is that our life, in the here and now, is nothing more than a blink of an eye, when compared to the eternity to come. Most of us spend our whole lives accumulating successes and stuff, only to die alone, in an empty coffin, with nothing. You live for nothing and you die with nothing.
The question is, what happens next?
Some of you don’t believe anything “happens.” You believe that when you die, you simple die—that’s all she wrote.
Some of you believe in reincarnation, and believe that if you try your best to do good, that you will be given a new life, in, perhaps, a more prestigious and reputable earth-suit.
But I believe that the point of it all, is not what we do or accomplish in this life, but Who we know, and Who we do what we do for, in this life, in light of eternity.
You see, you and I were created in the image of God, to glorify God, and to have a personal and intimate relationship with God. To know Him, trust Him, and love Him, as our Creator and Heavenly Father. But since the day that we said &#@* you God, we want to do our own thing, we have separated ourselves from God, and have been driven further from who we were created to be.
As a result of our rebellion, we were left deaf, dumb, and blind. Always seeking satisfaction in things that never satisfy. Always trying to depend upon people and things that are ultimately undependable.
Ever wonder why that dream job you always wanted, suddenly, isn’t as dreamy as you thought it would be? Ever wonder why, after marrying “the one,” you realize that you are not living happily ever-after?
The truth is that nothing and nobody, apart from God, can satisfy and sustain us.
But the good news is, that where we were once far off, and alienated from God, and in essence, life itself, God, through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, has brought us back to Himself. He has given us another chance to know Him, to be known by Him, and to find true life, in Him.
This is the hope that the Christian carries. So when the question of life and death, and “what’s next” comes up, we can look to the hope that we have in Christ. We can know in confidence, and with great joy, that after this life, comes the best life—eternity with Him.
Now we are reminded of the words from the Apostle Paul:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
– 1 Corinthians 15:55,57