Today I had to go to the orthodontist for the first time in oh, about 15 years. I haven't felt that old in awhile. The 45 teenagers waiting to get their braces adjusted were playing video games in the room next to me talking about the woes of young love. The music was hip hop and the dentist was very cool. It was surreal. I just needed to order a new retainer after having TMJ surgery and having some teeth not wanting to line up so much anymore. It actually wasn't the first time today I felt old!!
The lady took some robotic x-ray of my head to make sure I just needed a retainer and not braces again. (HELLO! No.) and left me in the room with the huge image of my skull x-ray. And the thought occurred to me, "That's what we're headed back to."
We put a lot of effort into this external image. Hair, makeup, working out, eating right, finding clothes that are flattering and shoes that are cute and comfortable. We focus on heart health and kidney functioning. We try to breathe fresh air and drink lots of clean water. We're preserving this temple, which is great, but what's underneath?
As I looked at that image I wondered what was written on the spiritual foundation of the very core of my being. I could almost see the day of salvation-imprinted permanently. Faith, hope, scripture, eternal security-all lines in who I am. The people who have encouraged my faith, who have stood by me in the questions and lived like Jesus in front of me are all there. It occurred to me that ONLY what we do for the Lord will last.
This world is coming to a close. We're all one car accident, one disease, one trumpet sound away from having our work on this earth come to an end. Forever in the record books will be what we've done for Him. It will be too late to lead that person on our heart to Christ, it will be too late to right a wrong, it will be too late to offer what we know of the Lord to those around us desperately in need of Him. It will be too late to live like Him in such a way that makes the people around us want what we have.
Here's what I know for sure. We aren't going to be perfect this side of the pearly gates (I KNOW-it's so discouraging!), but we can do better. I can do much better. I didn't even make it to lunch today without having to ask the Lord forgiveness for sheer stupidity and total laziness. And those are just the instances I stopped to notice! I have argued with the Lord and a few of His followers over things in the past week that are just ridiculous. I have over thought things to the point of craziness. WASTE OF TIME!
I honestly don't feel all that useful to the Kingdom of God most of the time but you know what? It's not about me. Just today 3 different people younger than me asked me for advice-2 of them spiritual advice. That says zilch about my strength but a whole bunch about God's ability to work through this life to impact another. The best thing I can do for Him most of the time is get out of his way (and my own!) and let Him work.
We don't know when the opportunity to make a mark on the spiritual core of another will present itself and we don't know who's watching. I don't care for one second that the skeleton of another person says "Brenda cared for me spiritually" but I care more than anything that there's a permanent knowing that Jesus is all they need. If God uses me to help create or reiterate one of those lines, then all the glory to Him for sure.
I doubt there are really words on our skeleton. Most of us don't have words on our bodies. But we are all sending a message. I don't know how far away I am from lying in a coffin and meeting Jesus face to face. It could be years. It could be tomorrow. I honestly don't care if I'm a size 2 by the time I die with the perfect hairstyle and the best clothes. But I care more than anything that the overwhelming thing people remember about this life is that-"She loved Jesus and she made me want to love Him too." That would be a life well lived.