432 Years or 23 Ears: Does it matter in eternity?

These tiny blocks are very precious to me. They represent far more than the $1.80 they cost me at my favorite gift store.

432 years

I was fortunate enough to attend a parenting seminar at The Crossing a few years back where two godly, wise women shared some insight on how to parent well. In particular, one of them walked up to the dry erase board in the old, tatty trailers and wrote 10,000. She explained that our parenting should be centered on things that will matter in 10,000 years.

I went home and immediately decided I wanted to remember this. This doesn’t just pertain to parenting – I want to remember this in all areas of my life. So I searched through the gift store for some way to decorate my house with this reminder to base my life on eternal things, not temporal things that will pass away. I found these blocks, and after a search through the basket, 432 was the highest number I could find so I went with that (same idea, right?). My search for how to decorate my house was over, but the lesson it was teaching me was just beginning.

In fact, it is a lesson that I have applied a lot when one or two of the blocks go missing and they sit on my buffet table and look like this:

messed up blocks

23 ears

 

 

 

           Or this:

But then I remember that it won’t matter in 432 years whether my kids played with the blocks and left one (or two) under the couch. Messed up blocks are precisely one of those things to let go of because they are temporal and non-lasting.

In 2 Corinthians 4:17-18, the Apostle Paul urged the Corinthians to “look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” And he encourages them that the reason to do this is because there is a weight of glory that surpasses all we know here on earth. We have much more to look forward to when we grasp this eternal perspective.

I need this reminder. I need to ask myself frequently things like

  • Is my parenting centering on things that will matter in 432 years?
  • Is my marriage focusing on things that will matter in 432 years?
  • Am I giving my time and attention during the day to things that will matter in 432 years?
  • Am I anxious over things that will matter in 432 years?
  • Is the thing that is making me mad going to matter in 432 years?
  • Are the things that are making me happy, things that will matter in 432 years?

Granted that this idea could be pushed too far, but nonetheless, way too often I find that I am anxious over something that won’t matter in a week, let alone eternity. For example (all hypothetical of course), when I

  • Get anxious and overthink what activities to get my kids involved in (thinking I will ruin them if I mis-decide)
  • Become frustrated with my husband because the top of his dresser is constantly cluttered
  • Lose my temper because my six-year-old forgets his backpack and returning home to get it causes us to be late to a meeting, AND I hate being late.

These are things I am talking about. All of these things are things that will matter little in 432 years. It is daily, hourly, even by the minute that I need to be reminded to pick my battles, and I need to be reminded that the battles worth fighting are ones that matter in eternity, or even 432 years from now.

 

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