My life is full of 30-minute delays: The times when 30 minutes after I have a conversation, I realize something important that I wish I had noticed or said in the moment.
I can’t provide many details of my last case. It involved a pastoral encounter. The summary is this: 30 minutes after it was over, I realized that my focus had been on earthly concerns and comfort rather than eternal issues. I’d dealt with clay jar concerns and neglected the treasure inside.
Pondering this, I was reminded of one of the pieces of John Wesley’s writings that sticks with me.
I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: Just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity!
These words have been on this blog since its creation. But how easily I forget them. How easy it is to treat people as just so many animals moving from birth to death. But they will live in eternity after this life is over. And as a pastor, it is my task to help guide them to a happy destiny. Salvation begins in this life, but extends forever.
This observation does not lead me to conclude I should be out screaming in the streets or even that I should press people in clumsy ways. But I do fear I am too often more interested in earthly comfort than eternal destiny.
Have I done what I can and should to make sure people I encounter do not drop into eternity unprepared? Do I act as if the last line of the Apostles Creed is actually true?