Tuesday, February 05, 2008

5,000 Years From Now

What will matter a few hundred years from now? It’s very likely many things will. The formation of the United States of America some 200 years ago still matters. We all still know it, read about it, live it.

But will it matter 200 years from today? Probably. Will it matter a thousand years from today? Not so sure.

Will it matter then if I work extra hard in the coming weeks to land a big consulting contract that will pay another 5 or 10 grand a month? Not thinking it will.

I’ve been preoccupied lately thinking about this, and stretching that number to 5,000 years.

I’m a big Beatles fan. Well, actually, borderline fanatic. The Beatles broke on to the international scene 44 years ago. They reached their zenith in popularity just over 40 years ago. 2 of the 4 are dead now, one of the remaining cant sell more than a few hundred thousand CDs on a new release, and the other couldn’t sell any if the remaining years of life counted on it.

But, still, their music is still so relevant today. This past fall an amazing film was released called “Across the Universe” using Beatles music as not only the soundtrack, but the story line. It reconnected a new generation to this decades old music. Even my 4 young kids appreciate the Beatles and often have one of their songs on their lips. But a thousand years from now? Five thousand years?

So much of my day is spent on the things that won’t matter 5,000 years from now, much less 100 years.

Tell me about your great-great grandfather. What was he like? What did he spend his time doing? What did he do for a living? What kind of car (or horse buggy) did he drive? What were his hobbies? His interests? How did he do in school?

Doesn’t matter. You probably don’t even know. I don’t…sadly, I don’t even know mine’s name.

But I can tell you this- how he loved (or didn’t love) his wife, and his kids, and his neighbors probably matters to this day. And could continue to matter throughout eternity.

How did his kids learn to love from him? How did they learn to think about and treat other people? What legacy did they leave because of him? Or their great-great grandmother for that matter. Did your great-great grandfather’s daughter learn that she is invaluable? That her soul and mind and body are priceless? That no matter what she did or didn’t do she couldn’t make her father, or God, love her any more or any less?

If so, she lived her life in a way that mattered too. And impacted her sons and daughters, a flowing underground river of life that is buried beneath the surface of our consciousness, prompting and leading us to live as we were meant to- image bearers of a loving God.

Sometimes the underground river is poison. It is bitter with hate and rejection, with unspoken acts of betrayal and murder of the heart. And those things too can matter for eternity, spreading through generations and slowly poisoning all who drink or touch the water.

So… what will I do today that will matter? I will try, though I fail constantly, to remember that how I love those around me could matter for eternity, while the proposal I need to get to a client by the end of the day wont matter next year.