These are merely carbon ribs.

Posted on October 1, 2010


“Cause I’m a dead man now with a ghost who lives within the confines of these carbon ribs. And one day when I’m free, I will sit… the cripple at your table, the cripple by your side.”

“…open up my eyes to the things unseen, [and] show me how to love like You have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks Yours, everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause… as I walk from earth into eternity”

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”

I think we can all agree that materialism is quite definitely a stronghold in our society.  We are a consumer nation, looking to get the fulfillment fix out of the next purchase. This is not a secret, we’re infatuated with accumulating things and we all know (to some degree) that the rest of the world doesn’t fare as well as us.  The things we have, as they stand, are nothing more than objects… nothing more than things that pass and go in this life; that is, if they are used in their raw forms.  And this is where I lend to you my thoughts. 

Two summers ago in the Dominican, my team really dug into the fact that the things we did there were temporary.  We discussed how the house that we have been working on the last couple of years would eventually be destroyed.  We also talked about how the medical assistance we provided to the Dominican’s was not a antidote for immortality, and how other medical issues would eventually arise in the lives of those we treated.  One of the biggest blows to the team was finding out that a father, who is nonexistent in supporting his family, sold his deaf son’s hearing aid, which our team equipped the prior year, for cash. (We found out this year the same father ended up doing the exact same thing to the son again a year later).  So I’ve learned over the past two years that anything we do down there is not final, nor does it prevent any problems in the future. Yeah, these projects are great and all; but, they are frail, temporary, and unstable.  But, that is only if they are used in their raw form.

What I mean by “raw” form is if these things (i.e. the house, the hearing aid, my own work) are seen as simply objects.  If these objects are treated as a cure-all or if they’re prized as a redeeming figure, then they are being used solely by their fundamental, basic purpose.  When all comes to end, the extent of the object or action in these situations stops when that particular object or action is finished.  We see these good things happen and decide everything is fixed, that a life has been saved.  If that’s how we approach our ministries and our personal aspirations, then we’ve become materialistic, relying on the “object” to get us through. The thing is, there’s much more than what is being displayed at our fingertips, the things we see with our eyes.  And this is the point I’m really trying to make.

All this stuff around us fails.  The good services we do aren’t always able to stand strong.  In the end, my flesh will also fail me.  All the stuff I have sitting around me in my room is worthless.  However, over the past couple of years, I have been striving to become more aware of another realm. This realm is eternity, where things will last and where things really matter. Where souls are thirsting or quenched, and where there is deep spiritual battle over the lost and saved.  Here is where the objects and actions at our fingertips can surpass the mundane and be lifted to something greater. (Note: Not that this permits the accumulation of wealth, but simply it is a call giving up what we have and letting it become available to God’s use).  Here, object and action can be attributed and bring glory to the Maker of Eternity, who deserves such glory for redemption, grace, and love. A life set on eternity allows God to work out His will, as we set down our own selves and pride.

This is my prayer: I pray that God would open my eyes to the souls all around me, to things that are beyond the surface, that I may be able to show the love that I have been shown time and time again by God. I pray that God would begin to shape my heart to desire what He desires and to break for what He breaks for, that in the process I’d become the second man as I walk with my God into eternity.

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