Things that Last

Last night Heather and I had dinner with a couple we dearly love – one of those double dates where you skip the pleasantries and go right to things that matter. That’s this couple – close friends.

And they get our world of music and ministry. You see he’s a highly sought after international orchestra conductor, and intensely loves the Lord. So when we get together I do my best to shut up and let him do most of the talking. After dinner we ended our time together in prayer, and he said something that resonated.

“Lord we see music that seems to last forever. Bach, Beethoven…and it’s because they were inspired, disciplined, excellent, detailed, and focused. But then we see the vast majority of music that just fades away and is forgotten.”

Immediately I began examining my own life. “God I don’t want to spend time on things that will just fade away! I don’t want to waste my life on things that will be forgotten. I want to invest in what lasts – I want to spend my energy and focus on You! I want to know God!”

I envisioned 1 Corinthians 3 – the imagery of our life’s work going thru fire (God is a consuming fire after all). And it made me think, how am I spending this life I’ve been given? I’m ashamed to say too often I give B work expecting A+ results. It doesn’t work in academics, music, or life in general.

But I don’t mean this to be a wag-of-the-finger type post. There’s enough guilt out there. I don’t mean to pile on and I don’t appreciate it when others do either. Because there’s no power in piling on. But there is power in relationship with God. And it’s that relationship that requires energy and focus.

There is nothing else that inspires or motivates like intimacy with God. So it makes sense that this one thing would be most difficult to cultivate. Think about it. It’s so easy to hit snooze instead of getting up and going for a walk and talking with Him. It’s so easy at the end of a long day to binge watch something on Netflix instead of going to bed early – or reading a book. It’s easy. But things that last are difficult. They are difficult but more often rewarding. Things that are easy bring pleasure. Things that are difficult bring peace.

Look at your life. Are you using your time and energy to do things that bring easy pleasure or lasting peace?