Are You Ready for Freezing?
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:"
*Should this be adjusted to the recent events in the east?* Gently the rain descended that *southern* winter evening. Softly it struck bushes, trees, buildings, and grass, faithfully caressing the contour of each. But then the cold night air began a mighty work—the work of transforming each fluid, ever-changing drop of water into something very inflexible, one grand sheet of ice. The morning sun rose to greet the spectacular scene, its strong light shining on the ice-clothed trees, creating a thousand sparkles. Water that had flowed so freely hours before, bending to any shape, now held itself in stiff beauty.
This hardened liquid now manifested opposing traits to those it had had only the night before. It’s beauty delighted the eye, but its surface was danger or worse to the traveler. That which was good to the eyes was bad to the foot and tire.
Water is only one of many substances used in our every day lives that is changeable under some circumstances but becomes inflexible under others. The strongest steel beam was once so supple as to be poured. Great concrete building, dams, and bridges literally flow into place. Many things that we think of as strong and dependable were once very pliant.
Humans are also very pliant. Not in the physical sense of their bodies. Rather in the sense of their ideas, their thinking, their personalities and character. From before birth we are being influenced one way or another, and this continues well into adulthood. We are moldable, influenceable, changeable material!
Unfortunately we are less malleable the older we become. The saying goes: "You can’t teach an old dog new tricks." But will there ever come a day when we can no longer change at all, when we will be ‘frozen’ – as beautiful or treacherous as that may be? Can we become so hardened in our personality and character that all change becomes impossible? If so, how? When? Can we choose what "shape" we will be in? Is it possible it won’t happen at all? Let us look at life from a Christian perspective and see.
Generally it takes God and man nine months to co-create a new human. The parents determine the time of conception and contribute their individual genetic codes (i.e. heredity). The mother gives nourishment and a protected place for the child to form. God contributes life, and basic personality. And the result of this cooperation is a new and distinct individual. "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed the from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things." "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee."
The little person enters this world tiny, innocent, and naive. We touch his tiny hands and gaze into his little eyes wanting to become acquainted. Quickly we observe his anatomy to ascertain whether he is all there. Does he have the full potential for "normal" life? we wonder. Eagerly we watch him as the days pass, looking for signs of development. Does he hold his head up well? Does he respond to noise? Does he recognize his mother? His father?
We are excited when he first sits up, first crawls, takes his first step. Anxiously we wait for him to begin to copy and mimic us. We begin making ridiculous sounds and gestures, hoping that "baby see, baby do." We are well aware that he is changeable, and we want him to change according to our preferences!
We go to great lengths to "educate" him. We teach him our particular language, potty train him, teach him to get along well with others, send him to school (or teach him ourselves), et cetera. Simultaneously, God and Satan are trying to train him.
Childhood is a time of growth and self-discovery. We are learning who we are; whether we are male or female; what our roles in life are or will be. We are discovering our preferences, and personality. In this process of discovery, we often compare ourselves to other humans, wondering whether we are "normal." We are heavily dependent on them and open to their influence. Sometimes this influence is good, sometimes this influence is bad. But good or bad we are constantly changing, becoming more like those we like or admire.
As we mature into adults, we become less interested in change. Our purposes deepen. We are now somewhat conscious of who we are and what we can contribute to the world. And we are busy using the skills we have learned to contribute to the world around us, hopefully in exchange for money! Our process of discovery has brought us far enough that we may invest more of our time and energy in assisting others and less in self-discovery.
Change should no longer be as necessary, for we are becoming settled in our ways, more comfortable with who we are and why. Change is also less possible. Unfortunately, some have missed the experimentation and discovery of childhood, or developed in ways that do not now meet the necessities of their lives, and therefore need more change as adults.
Fortunately change is still possible. Jonah was sent to warn a city of adults (as well as children), and they changed. Saul was a mature adult before conversion made him Paul. Nebuchadnezzar was in his prime when he gave his heart to God and became a new person. Cyrus was past his youth when his life was eternally changed. Peter was a mature fisherman before he was converted. And Moses was nearly eighty before his quick temper (and career) changed.
Over The Hill
Many of us are so used to thinking in terms of earthly life that we expect life to have it’s sunset in advanced adulthood. But the Bible teaches that eternal life begins here and now. "And this *is* life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" Therefore, though we may "sleep in the dust" for a little while, the life we will live in heaven and throughout eternity will be only a continuation of the life we started here. We may slow a little in our later earthly years before we take our nap of death, just as we slow in evening, when tired, before a night’s sleep. But being tired is no indication that we will not wake the next morning. Nor is "old age" an indication that we will not live eternally.
Though the life of eternity is only a continuation of this one, there will be differences. What are these differences? What changes will occur between earthly life and eternity?
Life comes in three stages, birth, childhood, and eternal adulthood (with an intermission, if you will, of sleep for many). During the last stage will come a transition. With this transition will come a change in circumstances, a change in bodies, a change in opportunities, a change in culture, a change in the opportunity to change our character and personality. Now we can improve ourselves. Then we will be frozen as we are. Now we can change what we are like. Then it will be impossible.
Why not take advantage of this opportunity, while it lasts? Soon it will be gone forever. Why not commit to improving yourself as one of your highest priorities? Maybe you have a fault. Every human does. But do you want to live with that fault forever? Maybe your fault is procrastination. Maybe it is carelessness. Maybe it is little lies. Maybe it is impatience. Maybe anger. It may be everyone knows what your fault is. It maybe that only God and you know. Whatever the fault, do you want to be stuck that way forever? God wants to help you now. But when you are "frozen" it will be to late. Will you give yourself to God now? Will you search for Him with every thing you’ve got? If so, you will find Him, and He will find you. You will have Him, and He will have you. You will want Him, and He will want you. And you will be happy, happier than you have ever been before.