ArticlesPoetry Jul 29, 2015 An Echo Of Eternity
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Creator and author,

It would seem then that the ide­al thing to do is not to have free­dom with­out walls but in­stead to choose the walls that max­i­mize free­dom.
Walls must be a) strong and b) main­tained. The goal then is to find the per­fect rules(walls) and have the per­fect self con­trol to fol­low them. This is what the cell does un­til it dies. We will not talk about the fail­ures in the past cen­tu­ry of fas­cism, to­tal­i­tar­i­an­ism, cap­i­tal­ism and democ­ra­cy. Let us only say that they are all ma­nip­u­lat­ed for great evil by the same en­e­my: the wicked­ness that lies in the hu­man heart. The builders are un­done by their tools.

God, mean­while, has al­ready told this sto­ry com­plete­ly and thor­ough­ly in the Bible. Man and woman made walls will con­sis­tent­ly fail hor­ri­bly and mis­er­ably. The best of hu­man self con­trol fails. David whom God said was a man af­ter His Heart, be­trayed his iden­ti­ty and slept with an­oth­er man’s wife and then had her hus­band killed 2 Sam 11:1-4, 14-17. Moses whom God said was the meek­est man act­ed out in anger Num­bers 12:3, 20:10-12. We could not fol­low even the laws that God gave be­cause we made our own Isa­iah 53:6. Is­rael want­ed kings (gov­ern­ment = wall) even though God was against this and were de­stroyed by their kings 1 Samuel 8:7, Hosea 13:10-11. The walls of Jerusalem fell again de­spite the faith­ful re­build­ing in Ezra and Ne­hemi­ah. In the ab­sence of walls, Is­rael again burst like a cell with­out walls and was spread out through many na­tions up un­til about 70 years ago.

Our self con­trol al­ways, al­ways fails ei­ther be­cause our in­ter­nal mo­ti­va­tions con­tra­dict them­selves so that we can­not main­tain our own walls or be­cause our ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment is too strong for the walls we have built. Ei­ther way, our free­doms and walls, hard won through many wars, con­sis­tent­ly erode and dis­si­pate on a glob­al, na­tion­al, ide­o­log­i­cal and per­son­al lev­el. Have we not felt and heard the lament of David in Psalms 22:14-15 re­peat­ed­ly over the years? What then are we to do?

We Build Bad­ly

Well the Lord comes through again. First He lets us know that ex­cept He builds the wall, our la­bor is point­less Psalms 127:1. Our walls AL­WAYS fail be­cause the builder is the lim­it of the wall. Since we built the wall and are our­selves im­per­fect, the wall can­not be any­thing but im­per­fect and it will fail. Re­cent and cur­rent his­to­ry has shown in such a bloody way that we can­not be our own lim­its (:see Bon­ho­ef­fer Cre­ation, Fall and Temp­ta­tion). The height of fool­ish­ness is gen­er­a­tion af­ter gen­er­a­tion con­tin­u­ing to re­peat the mis­takes of their par­ents and think­ing they will get a dif­fer­ent re­sult. So pick your ide­ol­o­gy or even make one up. Now ask your­self if this ide­ol­o­gy was made by a hu­man be­ing. If the an­swer is yes then it will fail and peo­ple will suf­fer and peo­ple will die. It may take some time but his­to­ry serves as a proof by in­duc­tion. Isa­iah is right to say Isa­iah 40:6.

God: The Liv­ing Wall

So God be­gins with us by mop­ping up our mess. He promis­es to gath­er our selves from all the places we have been spread out into Mic­ah 4:6 be­cause He sees us Gen­e­sis 16:13. God en­cour­ages us that He will be our bound­ary and our wall Zechari­ah 2:5. He is our Un­breach­able wall as so of­ten re­peat­ed in the Psalms Psalms 18:2, 91:2. He promis­es to change even our in­ter­nal mo­ti­va­tions in Joel 2:28. He en­cour­ages us to let our re­la­tion­ship with Him be our con­straint. He en­cour­ages us make Him the door of our heart Song of Solomon 8:6. He en­cour­ages us to stop be­ing our own gods and ex­change our cur­rent leaky bound­aries for His Sol­id self Matthew 10:39.

Yes this leads to death, but He promis­es that through this death, we shall have a new kind of life and a new set of free­doms. From eter­ni­ty He abides and so He is not a God of the dead but of the liv­ing Luke 20:38. So that those who died long ago are alive be­cause God, their Wall, pre­served them against death. Our iden­ti­ty will be se­cure and nev­er threat­ened Rev­e­la­tions 2:17. If the search is for a wall that max­i­mizes free­dom, then I ask what wall is more per­fect than God? We only have to be­lieve Him!

An Echo Of Eter­ni­ty

In clos­ing, let us con­sid­er again the er­rant, mis­guid­ed wis­dom of Max­imus Dec­imus Merid­ius when he said, “What we do to­day, echoes in eter­ni­ty.” This is a good place to start al­though as you will see we will pro­ceed by turn­ing around in re­pen­tance. This fic­tion­al char­ac­ter re­lates to­day to eter­ni­ty in a pa­gan way. This is not ide­al but at least there is a re­la­tion­ship (be­tween to­day and eter­ni­ty) which is more than can be said of our so­ci­eties to­day. Right­ly and Chris­tian­ly un­der­stood, what you do to­day does NOT echo into eter­ni­ty. In­stead, God would have us un­der­stand that to­day is the echo! Eter­ni­ty is the true, rich and full-bod­ied song. Max­imus, were he a Chris­t­ian, would have said in­stead, “What you do to­day is an echo of your eter­ni­ty.”

God would have us un­der­stand that to­day is a seed. Seeds, once plant­ed, do not di­min­ish in pres­ence. In­stead, seeds grow and take up more space as they be­come trees. So that the deeds of to­day be­come the laments or joys of the lat­er years. The seeds plant­ed in ado­les­cence grow into trees of adult­hood and con­tin­ue to grow be­yond death into eter­ni­ty. There, in eter­ni­ty, they con­tin­ue to pro­duce the sweet fruit of ever­last­ing joy or the bit­ter fruit of ever­last­ing suf­fer­ing. So to­day is an echo. Just like a seed is not larg­er than tree, so also an echo can­not be loud­er than the song. So then to­day (an echo) is al­ways bound­ed, lim­it­ed by eter­ni­ty (the song).

There is there­fore a bound­ary, a lim­it, on what you can do to­day and that bound­ary is eter­ni­ty. To­day, to­day every ac­tion you take is but an echo of what you will do to­mor­row. Judge wise­ly which the tune you will hum to­day for you will be singing it with all your might for the rest of time Ec­cle­si­astes 12:1, Lamen­ta­tions 3:29. This is the last lim­it. The lim­it of judg­ment. Note here as we have said be­fore and clar­i­fy here. God makes the court and sets the laws. He is the Judge who al­lows us to judge our­selves Matthew 7:2.

From Seed To Tree

In heav­en, He will not cut down the er­rant, poi­so­nous tree that has grown in time and space. There was time to do that on earth. He will not make you into what you nev­er want­ed to be. So if your life re­flect­ed a de­sire to live un­der His rule on earth then you will con­tin­ue to live un­der His rule in heav­en. If your life in­stead re­flect­ed a de­sire to rule your­self then it shall be so for you as well but your king­dom will be your hell just as it was an echo of hell in time. For this is the judg­ment: not that we have done wrong but pre­ferred to do evil af­ter know­ing what was right John 3:19. Not that I sang out of tune but pre­ferred to keep hum­ming it, singing it “my way” even af­ter I heard a more beau­ti­ful song.

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