Separate wills, single wants. Distant hopes misaligned with reality. Short lived satisfaction, dreaming of the more. Intensity necessarily short, passion certainly restrained. Those things which thrill and comfort and inspire are fleeting.
How many hearts hold on to that which is fleeting. How many souls long for the more. A taste of the completeness that is right, a scent of the fulfillment that is whole. A remembrance of something beautiful we have barely known, hints of the image of God impressed in our being.
We meet the fleeting and it overwhelms. The most perfect and beautiful of who we are, is comprehended and felt for only shadowy seconds at a time. The lack of ability to sustain what is most desired and natural to our creation. The complete failure of our time and our efforts in this short timeline, to simply be. We glimpse at our magnificent selves in this wretched drama, and it is too much to bear.
Denial, at both ends of the spectrum. We must convince ourselves that we are not included in the beautiful. That we are dirty wretched animals that are sealed in a fate of evil and pain. After all, nothing that we touch can endure. Or we must argue that the objective beautiful is wrong. That an outside declaration and almighty decree cannot dictate what we internally should love. Our momentary gage must govern what is good. Desperately we grasp at one end of the rope, making excuses for the unattainable wholeness that eludes.
Vice rebels. Anger and pleasure attempt to sustain what is complete and beautiful. Tired of the rules, done with the far-off visions, pulling the satisfaction close enough for too long, to touch and taste. Not inherently evil, the desire for love, rest, righteousness, and satisfaction stirs our hearts and minds as it should. But overreaching our temporal boundaries, vice dangerously flirts with the eternal. Prolonging the immediate sensation, ecstasy grows into a tangible addiction. Where vice was once an intuitive expression of fleeting beauty, it can recklessly walk the line of destruction.
Virtue forgets. Quiet restraint attempts to murder what is complete and beautiful. Building walls of separation, constructing legal systems of guilt and punishment, brokering one-sided deals with an angry God. Chastising ourselves for loving the whole of who we were made to be, villainizing created desires and enjoyment, because we cannot expect them last. Highlighting pain to pay for the righteousness we were made to crave. Fearful of the intense, self-protection from sure heartbreak on account of the whole.
Who are we if neither vice nor virtue will make us whole? What do we do in this life when we finally understand that all good, all beautiful, every moment of satisfaction, will pass? How can we appreciate what has been given to us completely, but that we are not completely able to enjoy? A solemn sadness settles. That I have been created to be whole, and in this life I cannot be. The vicious cycle of depression vice and virtue spins along, every day to comprehend our fleeting beautiful.
One morning, we may wake up, hear, and accept the contradiction before our eyes. That which was made to be whole, complete, satisfied, beautiful, fulfilled, and loved has already been restored to wholeness by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By means totally other than our denial, anger and bargains, we were declared to be whole on account of his whole offering to our Father in heaven. Even though we don’t feel complete, even though we don’t see that it’s all right, the contradiction is true. Broken and whole. Incomplete and complete. Lacking and full. Fleeting and Eternal.
We take comfort that our desire for the eternal whole is not wrong. Our craving for the tangible satisfaction is not bad. It is imprinted deep within who we have been created to be. But on this fleeting earth, in this death-ridden life, wholeness will only reveal itself momentarily and in pieces. Shadows of who we were made and are restored to be glimmer in the most enjoyable moments, which will come to an end. Honorable heart-racing passion will be wrapped up in broken-soul pain, throughout this lifetime.
But because we are now and forever whole, because of the now and forever sacrifice of Christ, there is no need to fear that which is fleeting. Because a resurrected reality has already been reconstructed, today we have been freed to enjoy the beautiful. Even though our todays and passing moments will certainly end, we have been assured that our created and restored completeness is certain to endure.