im·per·ma·nence

casey02 casey01

{One of the most important messages I have ever set out to write}

We focus so much time on things that will be dust, and comparatively little time on Scripture and souls – the only things on earth that are lasting and eternal…

Impermanence.

Of late, this word has been ringing in my mind.  I hear and see it everywhere.  It emanates from passages of Holy Scripture that emphasize and distinguish the temporal from the eternal.  I see it all around me in the ordinary items we all take for granted, as well as those we hold close to us as precious heirlooms.  It has been hammered home forcefully in the passage of time and inevitable change that accompanies it.

The year 2015 has been one of monumental change in my family, but inevitable to all of us who remain on this earth.  Our parents because of age and cognitive issues now reside in an Assisted Living facility.  It has been a struggle for them, especially for Dad – who has always been in control.  And an adjustment for us kids as well.  Nothing stays the same.  Impermanence.

We now face the task of going through a lifetime of accumulation at my parents’ house.  Not that my parents were greedy materialists, hoarders, or anything of the sort (maybe borderline hoarders in certain cases).  But all of us can have the tendency to hold on to things, to wrap and box things up for some later date.  Maybe with the thought of passing on to future generations.

We recently went through a project to clean up the basement in my parents’ house, and many items were ruined and could not be saved.  Including many items that Mom or Dad had fastidiously stored away, for years [wrapped in newspapers from the 1970s and 80s].  But mold and moisture found a way to get through.  Impermanence.

This was a lesson for me.  Do not hold on too tightly to things that will eventually pass away.  No doubt I will try to hold on to at least a few items, but I had to ponder this question, not only about things from my childhood home, but things from my own home:  What if my child, my grandchildren have no interest in keeping these items?  And even if they do, what’s most important is enjoying God-given family relationships while we still have these cherished people with us.  I am ever so grateful that I have Mom & Dad still with us, even if they can be a challenge some times.

We are or will be tempted to hold onto things that often have great memory or intrinsic value for us.  And I am not condemning that practice wholesale.  But let us remember that (1) we cannot take these things with us and (2) the things that last – people/family/souls, the Word of God – are where we should focus most.  All else is… Impermanence.

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Mat 24:35

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.  1 Tim 5:8

So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  Mat 24:44

Limited Time Offer

Blink – and you’re ashen dust

Set to expire like the rest of us

Reserve your mansion

before time rolls up

05/06/13

{Artwork by the talented Jeff Casey, high school classmate; framed artwork proudly displayed in my home]