This past Feast, we were reminded to focus on the “big picture” of Christ’s return and the soon-coming eternal Kingdom of God. But when you’re young, even the “small picture” seems enormous. Learning to drive a car is terrifying when you’ve previously only driven—and crashed—a Mario Kart. Getting married is immense enough to overload your brain when the whole of your existence has been not married. Realistically, young adults doing their best to meaningfully visualize eternity will probably be about as successful as preschoolers trying to ponder the theory of relativity, and I write that as a young adult.
God reminds us to “seek first” His kingdom (Matthew 6:33), and He does so because, let’s face it, we all forget to do that. This might apply even more when you’re young, because it’s difficult to focus your life on the Kingdom of God while also managing all the important earthly milestones young people naturally have to deal with. Because you have to finish school. You have to get a job. You’d really like to marry someone and have children, and then you have to make sure you don’t neglect that spouse and those children. And in the midst of all of this, you have to remember how temporary everything is—even though, right now, it’s legitimately important—so you have to keep talking to God. You have to keep pondering His ways and commands. You have to keep fasting, you have to keep spending time with the Bible, you have to keep examining yourself.
That really is a big picture, and it’s genuinely difficult to keep up with everything without becoming “weary while doing good” (Galatians 6:9). But it’s also a tiny picture—because it’s only about you. While you’re trying really hard not to make a physical mess of your life, and doing your best not to make a spiritual mess of it either, it can be all too easy to miss the fact that you’re just one person. Yes, God cares so very deeply about you, and you should never forget that—but even your eternity is just one eternity.
It’s hard to know how many human beings have been conceived since God brought our first parents together in Eden, but considering the current population, it’s reasonable to believe that tens of billions of people have lived on Earth up to this point. And you’re one of them! Congratulations—a tiny fraction of the Kingdom of God is about you.
As we’re annually reminded on the Last Great Day, the world needs God’s kingdom. It’s about so much more than your personal salvation or mine, and about so much more than the collective saints of God being transformed in the first resurrection. It’s about rescuing everyone in the entire history of the world. It’s about redeeming not just our time, but the whole of time itself. It’s about not just our individual infinite existence, but billions of those infinities.
That’s a big picture. And if our first thought of God’s kingdom is usually “I sure hope I make it there,” we’re forgetting more of that picture than we’re remembering.
We should never stop striving to enter God’s family, because that’s literally the entire point of human existence (Ecclesiastes 12:13), but when we’re trying to think of the big picture, let’s at least remind ourselves that the vast majority of that picture isn’t about us—and let’s thank God for the fact that, regardless of any one of us, His kingdom will come, revealing the unfathomable joy of billions of eternities.