Friday, June 5, 2015

Arcus Senilis and pressing on

"No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays." (Luke 11:33-36 NASB)

We are currently taking a detour through a few eye diseases to help us understand the concept of "clear eye" and to make spiritual applications. We have previously considered Macular DegenerationGlaucomaDetached RetinaCataractsDiabetic RetinopathyDiabetic Retinopathy #2, and Diabetic Retinopathy #3. You can click on the links to see those.

Our topic today is not a disease at all. Arcus Senilis is a white ring that forms at the outer edge of the cornea and is due to lipid deposits in the deep tissue. When seen in younger people, it can indicate a high cholesterol. In older people, it is considered a change of aging. 

When  I look at the white ring beginning at the outer edge of my own cornea, I am tempted to be dismayed. How can this be? I still feel 25 and I do not welcome signs of aging. That tiny sliver of white, however, is an inescapable reminder that I am growing older and am officially a "senior citizen." I am closer to eternity than I have ever been.

I haven't always lived with eternity in view, but it is on my mind these days. Just yesterday, my friend told me about her son's lifelong friend who has terminal cancer and is now on hospice. He is just a few years old than my own son. I suspect eternity is on his mind, too.

Perhaps we should all live with our eyes focused on eternity. If we remembered our eternal destination, we might be able to keep our present in perspective. The riches of this world are nothing more than dirt and stone in eternity, where gold is used to pave the streets. 

If we kept heaven in the foreground of our minds, would we make better choices in relationships? In priorities? I think we might. One day, we will answer for our choices, our priorities. As the time for giving answers draws nearer, I want to be prepared. It is only the blood of Jesus that cleanses us and makes us fit for heaven, but we will give an account of how we lived our lives. 

Every day is a gift, for we are not promised length of days. Each one that passes brings us closer to the time when we will see our Lord face to face. When the moment comes to cast our crowns at His feet, I want to have lived in such a way that I actually have a crown to cast. When we give account of our lives, I want my life to have borne fruit to give Him who gave His life for me.

We are closer to meeting Jesus face to face than we have ever been, no matter our age. Let us live our lives as those who have been redeemed, our eyes fixed on the final destination, our hearts centered on Christ. 

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 NASB)