Life As a Metaphor

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

If your life were a metaphor, what would it be? Forest Gump’s mama taught him, “Life is a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” How do you describe life? Is it a game? A dream? A cabaret? A dance? A battle? A mystery? How we view life speaks volumes about how we shape our decision and what we think, feel, say, and do? In his book What on Earth Am I Here For? Rick Warren tells us the Bible offers three metaphors that teach us God’s view of life:

Life is a test, life is a trust, and life is a temporary assignment.

 Life on earth is a Test.
All of life is a test.  We are always being tested. Everything is important because everything we think, say, and do reveals our character.  Our responses to people and our experiences reveal who we are.  When we experience problems, conflict, success, sickness, we have opportunities to reveal character, and  we either show that we are walking closer to Christ or moving away. Perhaps the most important test comes when we don’t feel close to God – like those days when we’re in our cave of sadness or anger or depression.  Everything is significant.  Every moment of life is a growth opportunity.  Can we consider our obstacles as opportunities? It’s good to remember that god wants us to “pass” the tests of life, and He promises to give us the strength to endure them.

Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out. I Corinthians 10:13 (GNT)

Life on Earth Is a Trust
God has entrusted us with gifts and resources.  He has given us all things to use wisely. Remember, he has given each of us our garden to tend. God gave Adam and Eve the original garden. I’m sure he showed them the beautiful rivers, and streams and trees and flowers. He pointed to the sun and said, “I give you warmth of the sun during the day.” And then he said, “I give the cool of the evenings.” “I give you each other to love and care for. And go out and populate the earth and then care for the children and all mankind. But… see that tree over there? That’s the one thing you cannot have. That is for me.  You may not have the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  But enjoy everything else.  I set that boundary for your good and my glory.”  And what did Adam and Eve do? They crossed the boundary. God wanted them to take care of all the “stuff” of the earth and leave the one thing for him but they messed up his “trust system.”

Do we care properly for what gives us? Do we properly use our skills, and talents, and personality, and gifts, and finances and bodies and time and relationships? He’s entrusted us with them. Life is a trust. We are managers of all that God trusts us with.

Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. I Corinthians 4:2

Life on Earth Is a Temporary Assignment
Our life is short, we know nothing at all; we pass like shadows across the earth. Job 8:9

When compared with eternity, life is brief. I know that some days seem like an eternity, don’t they!! Are you familiar with the old gospel hymn, “This World Is Not My Home”?

This world is not my home I'm just a passing through
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore

 We really are just visiting earth. We’re temporary residents on earth. We’re citizens of heaven. The Bible warns us not to get too attached to what’s around us because it is temporary.

Those in frequent contact with the exciting things the world offers should make good use of their opportunities without stopping to enjoy them; for the world in its present form will soon be gone. I Corinthians 7:31 (TLB)

C.S. Lewis said, “All that is not eternal is eternally useless.” How does our living today change when we begin to consider our permanent residence more important than our earthly one?

When we daily focus on life as test, a trust, and our temporary residence, we begin to bring more glory to God and greater blessings for us.
To hear the related lesson I taught from What on Earth Am I Here For? click here.
You Matter to God


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