Thursday, April 13, 2006

Spiritual DNA

This week my wife and I are in Bangalore. It’s a nice break from Delhi, though surprisingly the temperature here is the same as in the north. In spite of the summer heat, the one thing that we revel in is the quiet of the campus. We can actually hear birds singing and when they sleep through the night, there is not a sound.

Everyone needs physical refreshment. Though this setting is not a resort and I still have to teach six hours each day, it’s a time where the change of scenery is as welcome as a day on the beach. We end our day with an evening walk, perhaps watch a movie on our computer, or just read. Sandy found a delightful autobiography of Essie Summers and we are now both trying to finish it before the end of the week. Essie, married to a minister, was a romance fiction writer and, from what I read by searching for her on Google, was quite well known. As a guy, who has not, nor ever will read a romance novel, of course I’ve never heard of her. My interest in her is the life she lived as a writer in New Zealand in the ‘50’s until her death in 1998.

My thoughts are on all the people who have graced this earth in the nearly sixty years since I arrived; the people who once lived, who shared this planet with me for a brief period of time; for those who are now gone or who presently share this globe with me who are in physical and spiritual formation. As The Preacher writes in Proverbs, "man’s days are like a shadow, like a vapor." And yet, within this brief moment we call life, God is touching the lives of people who will touch the lives of others, maybe even my own. I believe heaven will be fascinating, as we will have eternity to map our spiritual DNA. That person who lived a thousand years ago who, whether peasant of king, gave birth to a witness who, over the centuries, lived and gave witness to another, which eventually led to that event in a little Baptist Church in Gardena, California where I accepted Christ as my Savior.

Our lives are unique and not, as the Hindu believe, a repeat of a former life. My creation was no accident, as the humanist would suppose. Created for Him, my arrival into the Kingdom will be due to those that preceded me. Who are these people that not only shared this planet with me, but whose existence had direct impact on mine? When time is no more I will learn that my spiritual “kin” were noble and ignoble, rich as well as poor, righteous as well as wicked. My spiritual lineage will be much more interesting than my family lineage, I am certain. I look forward to meeting those who lived their lives in submission to Christ and because of their faithfulness they had eternal significance on my soul. I pray that I, too, will have such significance and perhaps in eternity someone will come up to me and reveal that my presence on earth was a link to their salvation. Could there be a greater reward?