Monday, September 07, 2009

The Empty Glass and Incomplete World

Presently, I'm looking at an empty drinking glass. Someone, somewhere took the time to heat up just the right amounts of some sand, soda ash and limestone, mixing it all together and then blowing it into this shape. Pretty amazing really. And I'm here, at my table holding it, admiring how flawless it looks. Of course, it's not as good as it could be. It's incomplete, pointing toward something. It needs lemonade. Or iced-coffee. Or other exotic refreshments like, Dr Pepper. It's the drink that gives the glass its meaning. That's why we have the glass.

The world is a pretty amazing place. Someone, somewhere took the time to mix up just the right amount of ingredients to create it. Pretty amazing. I admire it. I'm in awe of it, actually. Of course, it's incomplete, pointing toward something. That something is the day when the knowledge of the Lord will fill it as the waters cover the sea. It's the end that ultimately gives the world its meaning.

The trick is to live from the end backwards. To live presently, in the light of what the world will be. The end actually changes the way we live now. It changes the way we worship. The way we work. The way we relate to one another.

I read Surfing the Edge of Chaos recently. The authors speak of managing the present in light of the future. "Powerful beliefs about the future, akin to a runner's commitment to finishing a marathon, re-contextualize the pain one experiences in pursuing the goal. Ironic isn't it? You can't get there from here but you can get here from there."

N.T. Wright, in Simply Christian says it this way, "The new creation is already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world. It is time to take up our proper roles in the world... as agents, heralds and stewards of the new day that is dawning. That is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God's new world, which he has thrown open before us."

All this thinking has made me thirsty. Where's the lemonade? Time to fill up my glass.

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1 comment:

shawnmcq said...

Some people say the glass is half full, some say it is half empty, I just say "Are ya gonna drink that?"