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
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
Not Fade Away
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.