#3 of 7 Biblical Worldview Absolutes
We Are Mortals with Limitations
“The length of our days is seventy, or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow…” Ps. 90:10
The Bible is clear… we are all mortal and live with physical, mental and intellectual limitations. There have long been stories of miraculous rejuvenating waters that could keep you young. Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon, was obsessed with finding the legendary Fountain of Youth to cure his aging. Man has always sought for some way to stop the aging process and become immortal.
It is still the case today. We seek ways to look younger and halt the aging process. Anti-aging creams, cosmetic surgery, botox, antioxidants and genetics are all modern attempts to find that elusive “fountain of youth”. We don’t like to admit our mortality because it reminds us of our limitations as human beings. But we can’t escape the truth. As much as we may try to live as though we will never die, deep down we all know it “ain’t so.” We know the clock is ticking and there is nothing we can do to stop it.
When we do face the reality of our immortality, we are forced to respond in one of three ways: 1) we can despair; 2) we can ignore it and bury ourselves in one big party all the time; 3) we can face it by living gratefully in the knowledge that our lives our in the hands of a loving Father, who made us and has a purpose for our lives. The last option frees us to find, not the fountain of youth, but the ‘fountain’ of life where there is purpose and hope for today and tomorrow.
What attitude towards aging and mortality do you think your children and grandchildren glean from your life? Are we so obsessed with trying to stay “young” that we devalue the meaning of aging and death as purposeful, even essential components of living as God’s workmanship? When the subject of death arises, are you able to talk about it with your grandchildren in such a way that they can understand how our mortality should lead us to place our trust in God, and live in hope?
Not only must face the fact that we are mortals who age and die, but we live with other mortal limitations as well.Solomon had it all – power, prestige, pleasures, prosperity. Yet, in the final analysis he concluded that it was all “meaningless”. Why would he say that? Because he understood that every human being has limitations and inadequacies that cannot be fixed by any of these things. As a man known for his wisdom, he learned that only one thing matters – “to fear God and keep His commandments.”
Little has changed since Solomon’s day. We foolishly pursue what can never satisfy, only to discover that the feelings of emptiness, loneliness and inadequacy still persist. Nothing alters the fact that our physical, emotional, relational and intellectual limitations are real. Man’s endless pursuit of wealth, fame or pleasure as the antidote for our limitations only leads to despair when we realize that each of these roads is a dead-end. As hard as we try, the realities of disease, aging, depression, grief, fear, betrayal, and ignorance, to name a few, are outside our ability to control.
It is foolish to deny our limitations. No matter how much we try to pretend otherwise, we will ultimately discover, like Solomon, that we are NOT the masters of our destinies. When all said and done, the things we strive for and the dreams we pursue are all meaningless when they are disconnected from a relationship with God, our Creator, who alone is the source of all meaning and true peace. In Christ, that relationship is restored and made certain.
Grandparents, we dare not neglect to tell this truth to our grandchildren because we are not able to admit it ourselves. It is because of our limitations we know we are not God. Yet, it is in spite of our limitations that He loves us with vast and indescribable love and has a purpose for us in which His glory and grace will be displayed through our limitations. His power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). Believe it, teach it and show it!
GRANDPAUSE: “Keep your eyes on the One who is poor with the poor, weak with the weak and rejected with the rejected. That One is the source of all peace.”– Henri Nouwen