Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Eternal Life: Eternal?

Recently I listened to a guy talk about how we are never truly gone.
We are eternal! We will not last!
But there is more to you than matter. When you die, you will not disappear until everyone who remembers you, and whose actions are affected – however slightly – by your memory, until all of those people die, and you are completely forgotten.
We are eternal! We will not last!
But even then, you are not gone. Not until all the people who remember and are affected by those people who remembered, and were affected by you, are gone.
We will not last!
But even then, you are not gone. Not until all the people who remember and are affected by those people who remembered, and were affected by those people who…and so on, and so on, and on.
We are eternal!
You will persist, ever so faintly, ever so slightly, on into perpetuity. Long after everything about you no longer matters. Your life is so small. But, in the setting sun of this universe, its shadow is cast down through generation after generation, until it gets blurry and hard to see…but still there. A breath of a wisp of a thread stretching out before you.
We are eternal! But we will not last!
That's what he said. (It's from a wonderfully quirky Ray Bradbury/Sci-Fi-esque broadcast called Welcome to Night Vale. You can listen to it here. Give it a couple episodes. It can be weird.)

To summarize: When you die, you live on in the lives of those whom you touched. When they die, you continue to live in the people they touched by having touched them. Does that make sense? If it doesn't read the transcript from above. I put it there because he says it better than I do. Or you can listen to it. (It was the "traffic report" from "The List ep 57")

For some odd reason, almost all the the funerals I have ever been have taken place the weekend of Thanksgiving. I've been to maybe one funeral that didn't take place between Oct 1 and Nov 30, the majority on the weekend I spoke about.

One of those funerals was my best friend. Another of a boy I mentored. The list just goes and goes. So it shouldn't be surprising that Thanksgiving is a bit different for me than it is for your average joe. I don't even have to actively recognize that it's that time of the year, my subconscious does it for me.

Some years are better than others, but I'm not going to go into detail. I would like to point out that that excerpt is from the most recent episode and therefore had incredible timing.

My best friend was also my art mentor. When she died, I stopped doing art. I tried it maybe once since then. That was about... 6 years ago. So it's been about 5 years since I tried putting brush to canvas.
This year, I couldn't get the idea out of my head that I should draw. There was a lot going on in my head, and I haven't seriously drawn in years. But the idea kept coming.

So late one night, a pulled out the colored pencils (oddly, the medium I spent the most time with) and some printer paper. It was amazing! The drawings are certainly no Monet, but they weren't awful either. I went from whatever it was I was feeling to feeling lighter and happier.
It was a spiritual experience!
It was a healing experience!
The two go hand in hand.

I'm convinced that God knows use better than we do and He knows EXACTLY what it is we need. Obviously, He doesn't want use to be sad. He truly wants us to be happy.

I share this to share a point. I don't know what you got from it (but I would like to), but what Cecil Palmer (Night Vale) and my art experience are meant to share is that eternal life doesn't always wait until after judgment day. My friend still lives in this life, in a way. By touching the lies of others, she will continue to "live" through me.
The Savior set an example of how to best do this. Through service, love, and all those things that come as a result of follow what we know to be right and good.

Now that the heavy stuff is out of the way, here's this.

I finally saw the new Christmas video. This one.

At the end it says the greatest gift is the gift of eternal life.
"But who wants to live forever?" I thought.
Life is hard. Aging is difficult. In many stories, immortality is looked at as a curse or punishment.

But what if that's not the life that is meant? Yes, yes. There's the eternal perspective. What about life? As in the spark within the world that makes us move? You know- the "get a life" or "living life" meaning. Everlasting... also known as abundant.

What if it isn't years, but life in those years? Eternal life?

Life of joy, excitement, happiness, creativity, love, and adventure.

That, to me, sounds like the ultimate gift.

What do you think? How would you describe the ultimate gift?

While finishing this up, it has occurred to me that He has already started giving that life. I gave the example of happiness through creating. Although I never left my bed, I felt as though I had really "lived".

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