As I watched the horrific events from theater in nearby Aurora unfold last week, I was struck by the comments of many that reminded us of how precious and fragile life is and how we need to better treat one another. The remarks of President Obama after the Aurora tragedy were similar to those of many other commentators and survivors:
"Our time here is limited and it is precious, and what matters at the end of day is not the small things, it's not the trivial things which so often consume us and our daily lives. Ultimately it's how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another."
It struck me that these comments were well-meaning and designed to bring a sense of hope and comfort, for which I am grateful. However, the remarks also miss the mark in one important way. For all of us, whether we are cut down in the "prime of life" by a killer or whether we live to 100 and die in our sleep, will die. Our life on this earth will end. It is guaranteed to be temporary because of our sin. Therefore, it is far more important to me that I am doing everything I can to prepare my own children as well as my students for eternity.
What matters most is eternal life in Christ. Because life on this earth is limited, I would not be carrying out the Great Commission if I did not make eternal life with Jesus the MOST important focus of both my parenting and teaching. Yes, life on this earth is precious and should be valued far more than our society has embraced. But faith in God and eternal life in heaven with our Lord is what lasts forever. It is for this reason that my daughters attend Lutheran schools and I teach in a Lutheran school. Preparing for eternity is our most important task in life, and Lutheran schools are an indispensable part of that preparation.
As you live, serve, parent, and teach today, I pray that you might be blessed by the Holy Spirit with an eternal perspective. Rest assured -- this life WILL pass away, but the love of God through Christ Jesus will stand forever. Heaven is our home! Share that eternal truth today with those whom God has placed in your path.