Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Not Fade Away



Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands! -- Psalms 90:17


In this psalm, Moses contemplates the transient nature of human existence in contrast to the immutability of God.  We will return to the dust after a few short years while to God the passage of a thousand years is as the handful of hours in a night watch.  Yet it is in this brief sojourning that we may, if we consider God, if we look at what angers Him and invokes His wrath, find understanding and gain insight:  So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom (v.12).

All of us come to an end because of sin – not so much our individual foibles; rather, it is the corrupted, fallen nature with which we are all born.  That must come to an end.  We sing that this world is not our home and we are just passing through.  That’s true, but it doesn’t mean that the body is not important or that what we do here on this journey is pointless and devoid of meaning.

If we live the truth, God’s favor will rest upon us, and what our hands find to do will be truthful  -- thus beautiful and everlasting.  Someday, all of Michelangelo’s statues will be broken stones and gravel, and his paintings will have faded away, yet the beauty he created will live on.   

Any time the human and the Divine meet, there is creation.  Our creative acts and works may not be visible to the natural eye.  It may not be a picture painted on canvas but on the soul of another.  Our words may not be recorded in a book or turned into a poem.  Instead they may be imprinted on a human heart.  The one we help to find beauty and who is transformed by a vision of truth will live forever, and that will be one of those works that will endure.  

When we work to make our lives -- however humble and insignificant by worldly standards -- conduits for light, life, hope, and love, we are building for eternity.  We are creating works of gold, silver, and precious stones that will pass undamaged and whole through the refining fires of time (1 Corinthians 3:10-14).  

Yes, establish the work of our hands.

7 comments:

Rick said...

I think of from time to time that in the very long line that runs from Adam to little ol me, there had to be a poor soul or two who just made it by the skin of their teeth. And that without them and what they did, all would have been lost.
And no one living knows them.

robinstarfish said...

A very loud standing amen to all that, with clapping and a whistle or two.

"The one we help to find beauty and who is transformed by a vision of truth will live forever, and that will be one of those works that will endure."

Just wanted to see it repeated again. :-)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"All of us come to an end because of sin – not so much our individual foibles; rather, it is the corrupted, fallen nature with which we are all born. That must come to an end. We sing that this world is not our home and we are just passing through. That’s true, but it doesn’t mean that the body is not important or that what we do here on this journey is pointless and devoid of meaning."

it's very awe-inspiring that there is indeed a point and meaning in what we do here, in spite of our becoming dust in a relatively few years.
It would be devoid of meaning without God establishing the work of our hands, mind, heart and spirit.

It would also be devoid of meaning without our accepting God's establishments.

I'm thankful there is meaning, and more than ample evidence of it in truth itself.
For as Bob has said many times there is no truth without higher Truth, yet another of God's establishments that we need, not only to survive but to thrive.

It's amazing that not all that long ago these now self evident truths were an inpenetrable mystery to me.
What an incredible journey we each have!

mushroom said...

Thank you all.

John Lien said...

Nice post Mush. Once you come to the realization that on the material plane we and our works are "dust in the wind" it makes one (well, me) despair.

If we live the truth, God’s favor will rest upon us, and what our hands find to do will be truthful -- thus beautiful and everlasting.

Alright, I'll hang on to that. Doesn't seem like it most days.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hi John,
You sure have helped me be a better wise guy! :)

And Mushroom,
This is one of the most beautifully poetic posts I have read! Truly, a work of art. Thank You!

mushroom said...

Due to network difficulties, I'm not going to be posting much more this week. More later.