What It Takes To Face the Frailty of Life

Sitting at a teacher’s meeting recently,

I noticed one particular marker sitting on the table in front of me.

At first glance,

it was just another permanent marker.

Just another Sharpie.

I didn’t really give it any more thought until we were cleaning up after the meeting,

but as I was reaching down to pick it up and put it back in my school bag,

I stopped long enough to read the label which read,

Super Permanent Ink.”2014-10-29 05.51.29

For some reason,

this made me laugh.

Suddenly, every other permanent marker I had ever used became a little less worthy of its name as I held in my hand a marker that claimed to be even more than permanent.

 I began thinking about all the ordinary permanent markers sitting on shelves in stores all over the world, and I wondered how they might feel if they were able to glance at the box next to them holding not just more permanent markers but “SUPER” ones.

I turned to the person next to me as I held this “super permanent marker” and said,

“I thought a regular permanent marker was permanent.  Now I’m not so sure.”

Of course the next thing I had to do was take a picture of this discovery.

It’s not every day your whole world view changes just by noticing the label on a writing utensil.

But Monday mine did.

Because in this “super permanent marker” I saw just how hard we as humans try to create something that will really last.

We “industrial strength” everything – trying take it up a notch, make it better, create the allusion that we’ve gone above and beyond anything ever made before that day.

The reality is nothing on this planet is “super permanent”.

No matter what chemicals we mix, no matter how big the miracle, no matter how strong the medicine,

this world and everything in it will eventually pass away…………………

markers and all.

This thought may be more than we want to process.

This reality may be frightening.

Facing the frailty of life and everything around us is definitely humbling.

No matter how many “super” words we add to the front of anything,

we will never be successful in creating one little thing that can truly stand the test of time.

So how do we cope in a not-so-permanent world?

How do we get up and face another day knowing deep inside that there is absolutely NOTHING about our life that is truly permanent?

Every time we watch our children drive away in a car –

Every time we go to the doctor for a routine check-up –

Every time we hug and friend and say “see you soon” –

Every time we lock our house and head out into the day –

we come face-to-face with the frailty of this life.

Maybe this is more than our minds can handle most days, so we pretend that “super permanent” is part of our world.

But the truth is,

“It’s not.”

So how do we function when we wrap our mind around just how temporary this life really is?

I have to carry with me a deep belief in more than I can see or understand.

I have to walk in the knowledge that there’s SOMETHING about this life that truly is super permanent.

When I grasp this truth instead of just a Sharpie,

I find peace to face all the things that otherwise could paralyze me today.

For me, facing the frailty of this life causes me to turn to the permanency of the next life.

And when I’m able to do that,

I can suddenly face whatever today holds.

No matter how devastating.

No matter how scary.

Eventually, I will pass away.

Eventually, you will too.

Thank goodness, we know the One who promises to never, ever pass away.

He is the industrial-strength, super permanent marker we are all looking for…………

Knowing Him is what it takes to face the frailty of this life.

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

I John 2:17

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away

Matt. 24:35

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.

Hebrews 12:28

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