On the Impermanence of Life

Everything else will soon fade away

Good morning!

Did you know that just about everything has an expiration date?

In a universe constantly rushing towards entropy, the natural process of decaying into chaos, it is not surprising that things would have expiration dates; we, of course, know that our phones, wallets, cars, and houses will someday cease to function properly. But how often do we think about the impermanence of intangible stuff?

Did you know that your relationships will one day come to an end? Your wealth and looks and knowledge and everything you’ve spent your life building will one day be cut away from you. After all, death is the great equalizer, right?

Now, I won’t say that nothing is worth your attention or that since everything is an exercise in futility it’s not worth doing anything with your life; however, the one thing I will say this morning is that your character is one of the only things your spirit can carry into life after death.

There’s all sorts of talk about how the more you have and the more you have achieved in this life, the harder it is for you to get into heaven as if you were a camel going through the eye of a needle, but that’s often misinterpreted. You see, in the Jewish context, that verse contextually refers to a needle gate, something camels do regularly walk through (pictured below).

Camel and needle-gate (Thanks, Internet!)

The catch here is, in order for the camel to be able to squeeze through, it must first be unpacked, as the usual load it carries is too much for it to go through the opening (just think of taking all the stuff out of your car and trying to walk through a door that’s half your height). In that context, it’s not necessarily saying that a rich man’s camel is going to have less luck going through the gate than the poor man’s camel (soul), it merely states that everyone, rich or poor, must first empty themselves and recognize that they can carry nothing into eternity with themselves.

The Preacher said, “[everyone] came from dust and they return to dust.” How much or how little you build up in this life is of no eternal consequence; the only thing that will matter once you walk through that tiny gate into eternity is the character that you carry with you and the spirit inside of you. That’s it.

In the meantime, eat, drink, and be merry, but recognize that since all else is impermanent, man’s spirit should be his greatest concern.

God bless you, have a great day!