Oct 26, 2011

Transcendent Life

If, by some divine decree, I were given the opportunity to give to the whole world one awareness, I think it might surprise some what that would be. The truth that I would want the world to know is this: "This life is not really about this life." The idea being, of course, that our physical life should never be thought of as an end in itself. It is not.

Certainly, the drama of this physical life is an important one. And it demands a certain level of participation of all of us. And the impact of that participation has up close and personal consequences and blessings, every day. But what we sometimes do not understand is that the greatest import of this life actually overflows the physical dimension.

In fact, this life is but an increment of a much larger, a transcendent life. This physical life serves most importantly as what might be understood as an "incubation period" for our spiritual transformation.

That is why Jesus would make this statement. "No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? ... 

Therefore do not worry, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

In considering the "non-normal" approach to life which Jesus advocates above, it certainly helps to understand the divine purposes for this physical life. They are these: 1. To become aware of God's perspective. 2. To experience the Savior, and a renewed friendship with God through Him. 3. To mature toward the "divine character image" that Christ was sent to complete in us. These are the divine purposes for this life. And, these are the purposes which give true and enduring value to its activities and involvements.

So, it should not be that this life becomes an end in itself. And yet, often it does. We become so immersed in climbing the business ladder, or achieving some personal success, or pursuing some intense interest, etc. that those pursuits become disconnected. We simply subtract them from the redemptive purpose that God intends such things to serve.

Thus, what God meant to be a shaping, transforming process to bring us to new levels of spiritual awareness and personal definition becomes derailed. Instead, life's pursuits become something we chase simply for their immediate, intrinsic value.

And certainly, the pursuits of this life do have intrinsic value. That is why we become so carried away with them, at times. But what they do not have, in and of themselves, is enduring value. Their usefulness is always short lived when disconnected from God's larger purpose.

So, we may get to the top of that corporate or political ladder, etc. We may achieve some great personal aspiration. But, when we do, most of this brief life will probably be behind us. And in any case, the glory of physical / material achievements are still very soon relinquished to death, and usually, long before that, to the ravages of age.

So, the offerings of this physical existence remain seductive; but obviously, the simple variable is how long the "fun" will last. Will it be only for the brief decades that the physical life affords us. Or, will it be for a transcendent lifetime.

That latter choice is truly empowered by the clear awareness that, indeed, this life is not really about this life. So, I would love for the world to simply understand that the life-scene which we are all presently viewing is only one brief act of a much larger Redemptive Drama.