Infinitely precious

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about after hearing this excellent interview with Alan Ball, creator of some very interesting TV shows and movies.

Ball’s new TV series is about vampires, and in this interview, he comments that one of the things the whole vampire-genre get sone thinking about is the value of life. Vampires (in case you need a brush-up on vampire lore), live forever. And Ball says this must be a curse: you loose your family, the people, the places, and time-period that you love, everything that you know and everything that you are familiar with. He said something in the interview to the effect of: What makes life precious is that it is finite.

This strikes me as one of the those hallmark-cardy statements that sometimes slips past us Christians without causing much thought. I heard it and thought, “Yes, life is finite…carpe diem, etc.” And then did a little mental double-take. Wait a minute, don’t I believe in “the life everlasting”?

Christians don’t believe that life is precious because it is finite. We believe in everlasting life. Are we at odds with that idea that life is precious because it is limited? I know I want to get everything out of life that I can: there are places I want to see and people I want to meet, and books to read, skills to learn, races to run, routes to bike, mountains to hike, music to sing, food to eat, and on and on, so many things I want to do and be, and, truly, a limited number of years, right? The years we have are precious.

I have a low tolerance for the type of Christainity that falls hard on the phrase, “This world is not my home”. Because this world is my home: it’s the home that God made for me, and it’s the place where I enjoy God, and God’s creation: birds and bees and rocks and petals and rivers and flies and watermelons and sunsets, and human beings and the things they make in all their marvelous quirkiness and magnificent creativity. God made it for us to enjoy, and things are truly a little (or a lot) messed up right now, but this world IS our home, and so God plans on pulling things back into shape for us, re-creating the place and setting things right so that we can enjoy the world, and enjoy the God who made it, forever.

And sometimes, I do feel an ache that I might not get around to experiencing everyone of these wonders in the (God willing, I hope) 80 or so years I’ve got. I forget that there is eternity to look forward to, and that it’s not just the eternity of fluffy clouds and baby angels, but an eternity that will include even-better versions of the fabulous glass of wine and chick-pea with sweet potato tagine that I had at a restaurant last night, along with scintillating discussions about books and chances to go sky-diving and to see cities I missed at the begining of my life, and swim a perfect lap in the pool, complete with flip turn (something I cannot pull off right now…) and paint another picture with my daughter, and on and on and on.

Life isn’t precious because it’s limited…it’s precious because it is so infiinite, so infinte not just in terms of time, but in terms of it’s possibility, what it can and will be full of.

One Response to “Infinitely precious”

  1. laura Says:

    Thank you. Wonderful thing to read early in the morning.