It began as a nagging thought in my youth and increased to be a louder voice during my college years. As I moved from one year to the next, I heard its questions but had no response. The voice I write of is the voice of eternity. Some would call it the voice of God. Others claim it is the spirit of wisdom, while some shrug it off as the annoying sound of an overly sensitive consciousness. But I hear it. I hear it now more than ever.
It speaks to me in the dark morning hours as I rise to prepare myself for the day. It says to me, “will your planned meetings and activities matter in eternity?” As I aimlessly stare across the chatter of a restaurant crowd, I hear its compelling call saying, “Where will these people spend their eternity, and how will you change it?” When I lay in bed each night, it whispers to me, saying, “Did your work today draw another into a better eternity?” These are not condemning thoughts but rather a sobering voice that snaps me out of my hypnotic cadence of daily routines.
We all are lulled to sleep by the busyness of our lives, but when tragedies shake us out of the temporal traffic of our nominal existence, for a brief moment, we glimpse the eternal. Our glimpse may come while standing before the casket of a good friend. Maybe we momentarily gaze into eternity when we are wrecked by historic devastations or pandemic diseases. Regardless of how it happens, our flash-like gazes into the halls of eternity are often brief and discounted. They are deceptively drowned out by the clamoring noises of a normal life.
“There is no reason to get worked up about by what you cannot see,” say the distractions of civility and tradition. Yet, I am regularly alarmed by the ease with which I am pulled into a life of temporal trophies and minimal eternal impact.
In every conversation, I fight with a fierce urgency to peel back the blinders over my eyes. I want to see men and women as God sees them. I struggle against the lethargic shackles of my mind to reach for a constant awareness of the eternal perils every man and woman will face. They could face it in a matter of seconds on any given day. Billions live on this precipice of danger. Billions are unprepared to face it. “What can I do?” I ask myself over and over again. “Make disciples,” I hear the voice of wisdom say to me. “Lead men and women in every conversation, in every opportunity, to the Savior they must follow.”
I cannot shake this single passion. Like the apostle Paul, I must confess, “Him (Jesus) we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end, I also labor, striving according to His working, which works in me mightily. (Colossians 1:28–29).