Dead Poet's Society is a good movie. Who can forget Robin Williams bringing his prep school boys around an old picture of a long-forgotten sports team from about a hundred years prior? "Do you hear them?" he asks. "Do you hear them? They are whispering something to you. Listen... Carpe Diem! Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!"
Of course this motivated me and millions of others to think about how we spend each day and if we are "sucking out the marrow of life". It wasn't until yesterday that I thought about the philosophy that undergirds this movie. Someone reminded me that there is only one line in the movie that explains why. Robin Williams says, "Because remember boys, soon the worms will be eating you." In other words, live it up today, for tomorrow we die and then there is nothing.
A Christian high school English teacher in Equador asked his senior English class this question: "What should be the Christian response to Carpe Diem?" In the back a boy quietly raised his hand. "Yes?", the teacher inquired. "Carpe Eternitatum" - Seize Eternity!
As I thought about how I got to Japan, of course much of it was motivated on the fact that I wanted to follow God's plan to reach all the nations - especially the lesser reached nation of Japan. However, my satisfaction here, I realized, to a large extent was based on the philosophy "Seize the Day" and not "Seize Eternity". It is easy to get discouraged when you don't feel that you are "sucking all the marrow out of life." But then again God says, "Don't live any longer to make full use of this world." Whereas I often looked at my temporary success and enjoyment as a sign that I was doing well, God says, "Look at eternity. Don't focus your eyes on what is seen, but what is unseen."
Last night I was reading 2 Cor. 12 and I came upon the famous verse, "When you are weak, then you are strong." God touched me with His overwhelming presence. It was as if he was reminding me, "Look at eternity! Do not worry that you are 'just a simple missionary, mostly to kids'. Don't worry that you don't always see fruit and that many people reject the good news that you share. Don't worry that you don't have all the praise of the world or that crowds aren't waiting to see you. Look at eternity! When you are weak and have little, then you are strong... because you have Me. I am your strength and your hope and your eternal reward."
Yes! Seize Eternity and eternal rewards of being with this incomparable God Almighty! He has your best plan charted out, even if today is just as routine as the last. The difference is is that God is in it, and behind it, and is with you always.