"Human beings do not live forever, Reuven. We live less than the time it takes to blink an eye, if we measure our lives against eternity. So it may be asked what value is there to a human life. There is so much pain in the world. What does it mean to have to suffer so much if our lives are nothing more than the blink of an eye?" He paused again, his eyes misty now, and then went on. "I learned a long time ago, Reuven, that a blink of an eye in itself is nothing. But the eye that blinks, that is something.
A span of life is nothing. But the man who lives that span, he is something. He can fill that tiny span with meaning, so its quality is immeasurable though its quantity may be insignificant.
Do you understand what I am saying? A man must fill his life with meaning, meaning is not automatically given to life. It is hard to work to fill one's life with meaning. That I do not think you understand yet. A life filled with meaning is worthy of rest. I want to be worthy of rest. When I am no longer here. Do you understand what I am saying?"
~ From The Chosen by Chaim Potok
What a difference Christ makes in meaning and in suffering!
I've been searching through my recent journals because I know I just came across an amazing passage from a book on suffering, but I can't remember what it was from. I'm sure I wrote it down, but I can't find it.
Here is another that is also extremely good from an Elisabeth Elliot book I've been reading...
"Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.... The love of God did not protect His own Son.... He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son. A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process."
"More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
Okay, now I promise I won't talk about The Chosen for awhile. ;-)
We can go back to talking about Inception if you like. I was able to see it again on Monday and it was even more amazing the second time even though we were in our cheap local theater that smells like cigarettes, has bad sound, and a small screen compared to the IMax in Seattle. ;-)
Thanks for reading,