Something That Lasts
In the movie, A River Runs Through It, there is a scene where two adult sons go fly fishing with their father who is a preacher. The younger son, whose life is spiraling downward in gambling and drink, catches a magnificent trout because of his masterful technique with the fly rod. The older son takes a photo of the great fish and the great fisherman as the narration (done by the older son) continues something like this…”It was like a work of art. I knew I was looking at perfection. But life is not art, and I knew the moment could not last.” The story of the movie continues with the younger son refusing the help of those who loved him until finally he is found beaten to death by money sharks to whom he was hopelessly in debt. The movie closes with the older son, now grown old indeed and having been bereaved of all his family, out in the river once more fishing and thinking back on all the things that couldn’t last. The river was a symbol of the relentless march of time and the impossibility of retrieving even a single moment of the past.
That scene set me to thinking…I thought about the innocence of youth and how it couldn’t last. I thought about the fervor of young love and what time would do to it. I thought about physical vigor and how the years sap the strength. I thought about mental powers and how, at my tender age, I have become so forgetful. I even thought about my old hometown…how much it has changed…and how I could not go back again to roam the places where once I ran free. The people I knew are gone…and many of the places including the woods I played in are gone. I remember early married life and my babies in my arms and on my back, but they are grown now. So many moments…so many things…that could not last.
Then I thought that what we really need is what does last. Thank God that through Jesus Christ we have that which lasts. Things don’t last but redeemed people do. The outward man doesn’t last, but the inward man does. Suffering doesn’t last, but glory does! Doubt doesn’t last, but faith lasts! What we see doesn’t last, but hope lasts! Hatred doesn’t last, but love does! Sin doesn’t last, but mercy and grace abide forever! Life isn’t art, it’s true. But life in Christ is eternal art, “You are God’s workmanship,” and that means you shall last in love, joy, peace, glory, honor and incorruption while the ages roll on!