You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. What is life? You are a mist that is seen for a moment and then disappears.
James 4:14 God’s Word Translation
Years ago we saw the movie “The Grinch” based on the beloved old story we all grew up reading and watching on TV. This movie brought the animated characters to life. But it was the beginning and ending of that Ron Howard movie that captured my attention. It started off by showing millions of snowflakes falling to the ground, and then the camera zoomed in on just one of the many – closer and closer, until magically a whole city is revealed. This teeny tiny little town on a teeny tiny snowflake, was the land of Who-ville. At the end of the movie, the camera fades back after following the story to completion – showing again the very small town on a tiny little snowflake – one out of millions of snowflakes. Mind blowing. It was hard to wrap my brain around it.
Last week when watching one of our favorites, “The Big Bang Theory” – we saw an episode where Larry is explaining to Penny the holographic images he is working on. He has her put on special glasses then shows her how objects appear to fly. Then he brings a holographic 3 dimensional world spinning around and he says something like this to her, “we may all be just someone’s holographic world on another far away planet – it’s an interesting thought”.
I remember years ago having a discussion with my Dad on the subject of “seeing through a glass dimly” from 1 Corinthians 13 and how what we have always assumed was the “real thing” – may only be an illusion. The real life is something we have not had a glimpse of – yet. We may be the illusion – the holographic image – the existence that seems so grand, large, and profound. But what if the things we thought and truly believed are wrong. Not just wrong – but hugely exaggerated. Our own importance – the things we do, what we think about and spend our energy on - what if we’re misguided and sadly off base?
This last week we mourned the life of 16-year-old Teagan McGinnis who was killed in a car accident. Who can make any sense of this? If you are like me – you have struggled with it, even while realizing that God is still God. Even good people die. Death at any age is no respecter of persons. And yet…if the Bible is really true – then the verse at the top brings great hope. If you are like me, and no doubt the family members of Teagan, hope brings comfort, helps to lessen the sting of loss and even begins to bring clarity to the great mystery of death. Not only death – but what is beyond death.
If our life here is a “mist” here today and gone tomorrow – then we do have that great hope! Our real life begins after we die. The many things we plan for, struggle to buy, takes years to cultivate and think are so important – if they are really just a “breath” of time – just IMAGINE what is in store for us beyond this life. This beautiful life that God made for us – complete with family to love us, friends to sustain us, health and purpose, laughter, tears, joys, music, scenery that takes our breath away, babies, puppies and the many other unexplainable wonderful things that happen every day – and over a lifetime, if God took that much time on this temporary mist of a life - that is here today and gone tomorrow – how much more will He take care of you when life is denied? When we lose something or someone? When we struggle with health, age, troubles, love and finances?
For those of us who understand these things – we understand that for those of us who have a faith in Jesus Christ – there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God – and each other. Even in death.
That is my hope. That is your hope. For every motherless child, for every parent who has lost a child, for all those alone and suffering – it can be your hope too. And someday, like Teagan – we will have the eyes to really see. We will start living our life. After this one is done – and we will mourn no more.