“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
My college-age son is home for the weekend. He is my delight and joy and the welcome of my heart on every occasion. He is becoming the man I never imagined him to be because as a young mother at twenty-three, I wasn’t prone to my imagination. I was simply prone to survival. Both his and mine.
In many ways, those days seem long ago and packed away as a seasonal remembrance. I don’t recall them often. But every now and then, even though he is well on his path toward manhood, I am reminded about the springtime of his youthful beginnings. I catch a glimpse of a little blonde-headed boy who took to life with a passion for the process. It was a process seeded and watered and grown alongside his younger brother.
They are quite a pair. Best friends. Fierce warriors. Competitive in most things, yet quick to applaud one another’s accolades. I can’t imagine one without the other, but when Nick left home almost two years ago, I had to. Imagine. Them apart. The silence was palpable. The room above my bedroom no longer bore the strain of two sets of feet. The late night conversations between them no longer kept me awake or forced my intrusion in the matter.
And while I welcome the more quiet approach to nighttime routine, I miss their voices. I miss their laughter. I miss knowing that all of my children are safe and sound and tucked in for another night of rest under my roof. We don’t have many of those nights now, but when we do—when Nick comes home to rest in his old and with his familiar—the floors creak their resistance and the late night conversations return.
Last night was one of those nights. Rather than reaching for the broom that stands bedside as my implement for reminding the boys about my need for rest, I reached for the earplugs. And instead of hearing the sounds of my sons’ laughter and conversation, I heard the echoes of something far different. Remote at first. Louder and more persistent as time elapsed.
I heard the beat of my own heart.
Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Over and over again, until the sound took the stage of my imagination, and I began to ponder the magnitude of what I was hearing. Last night, over the din of an upstairs conversation and through the rhythmic lull of a heart’s beat, I heard the cadence of heaven’s pulse. I heard …
What does eternity sound like? How does it hear? Greater still, how does it breathe?
It sounds precise and continuous. It hears vivid and real. It breathes genuine and on purpose. One beat after another and with the focused intention of keeping me alive and keeping me as useful.
God knew what he was doing when he seeded eternity into the hearts of men and women. No other vessel in the human body could house such significance. No other organ could more appropriately dress the magnitude of such a gift. No other portion of this fleshly frame could support the creative genius of an eternal pulse. None. Why?
Because our hearts are the navigational force behind our steps.
Our feet won’t move forward without the beat of the heart.
Our minds won’t motion their purpose without the beat of the heart.
Our giftings won’t serve the world without the beat of the heart.
Our plans won’t come to fruition without the beat of the heart.
Our love won’t wrap its arms without the beat of the heart.
Our souls won’t find their rest without the beat of the heart.
Our sins won’t find their grace without the beat of the heart.
Our lives won’t live their sacred worth without the beat of the heart.
In every way and in every day, the heart completely and holy matters. The heart is the significant linchpin when it comes to living the gift of a single day. Without its pulse, we are dead. Done. Completely and fully out of options. When the heart stops servicing our frames, the eternal seeding therein moves elsewhere.
Either onto the full and promised perfection of heaven or into the full and promised ruination of hell. That, my friends, is what eternity sounds like. That is how it hears and, greater still, that is how it breathes.
Not just today or in the things that we can touch and feel and manage with our minds. But for always and especially in ways that are beyond our understanding and our reasoned grasp. There are untold mysteries encased within the parameters of a heart’s pulse. We cannot fully fathom nor plumb the depths of such treasures.
If we are Christians, then we can begin in our understanding of one of them. His name is Jesus, and he owns the pulse of our hearts. He lives within this sacred vessel and tends to our eternal seed with the loving grace that will carry us home to our forever.
But for those who are not Christians, for those who have yet to begin in their understanding of all things sacred, their eternal seed lies dormant. Tended to by the wisdom and careful watch of an enemy who shrouds the truth of God’s unseen eternal with the lies of a temporal “as good as it gets.” With the voice that breathes the deception of…
An absent everlasting seed.
A day that walks in isolation.
A life not worthy of further examination.
Regardless of the lie, eternity’s seed still exists. No amount of pretending that it doesn’t changes the truth that it does, in fact, exist. Every human being is created with a heart worthy of heaven. In this very moment, it beats with the witness of sacred possibility. For you. For me and for the sake and salvation of a created race who has never taken the time to listen. Can you hear it? Won’t you try?
Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.
Thump … thump.
T h u m p.
T h h h—————————-u———————m——————————–p.
Where will your eternity land?
With holy fear and trembling, I pray that yours will be seeded and watered alongside mine … with Jesus in heaven. Thus I pray,
Thank you for seeding us all with the gift of eternity, Father, even when our soiled hearts refuse the planting. Prod us toward further understanding in the matter, and stir our need in restless confusion until we pause to clarify your truth. Thank you for choosing the likes of my heart as your dwelling. Make me ever mindful of your presence within and ever careful to acknowledge your living witness to others. You are the treasure of my flesh. Thank you for making me yours. Amen.
Have a blessed Sabbath rest, sweet ones. You have been so kind and gracious in your words and prayers for me this week. I love you dearly. Shalom!
Copyright © October 2008 – Elaine Olsen. All rights reserved.