‘There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.’ [C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses]
Imagine you’re strolling along a beach, and you pick up a speck of sand in your hand. Now look back down again. Look back up at the grain of sand on your fingertip, and let that blur into your vision as you gaze at all the sand on the beach. That tiny, tiny grain of sand on your hand is a moment in the beach that is your life here on earth. Now imagine all the sand on all the beaches on all the coasts in your country, in your continent, in your hemisphere, in the world. That’s what eternity feels like. That immense, overwhelming feeling I get when I think about this makes each moment seem almost trivial. Almost.
On one hand, it’s easy to think that we don’t have to care about what we’re doing in the moment, because we have so many moments, surely we could waste some. But all those moments add up to a lifetime, and we actually have no idea how large our beach, how long our life on earth, really is. The problem actually lies in how we often lose sight of how small our life on earth is compared to the rest of our eternal life. When we lose sight of this, we no longer see ourselves or others as immortal, but rather, we play with others and ourselves as if our actions are inconsequential. But no, we are all immortal beings, and the decisions we make now on earth can have vastly different eternal implications. As such, we must remember that we are all immortal beings, some already waiting for the gates of heaven to open, while others don’t even know there’s a gate.
Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life. [Matthew 25:44-46]