"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading, kept in heaven for you." -- 1 Peter 1:3,4, NRSV
What seemed forever didn't last long. As kids, swimming and playing Marco Polo long enough to shrivel because childhood meant no sense of time, we would go under water and hold our breath to see who could stay underneath the longest.
We imagined ourselves as free divers in the great blue hole, but I'm sure none of us ever heard of it. The only point was to beat the other person.
Five minutes? Three? One?
Maybe 30 seconds was the record, but it felt like 10 minutes. Childhood made everything longer and bigger and deeper and wider. But then, exaggeration helped us find our place in the world. Stretch a story enough, place yourself in the middle and you're bound to land somewhere in neighborhood folklore.
Time eventually squeezes and buries those exaggerations. We grow up. We move on. We get serious. We become re-spon-si-ble.
Intellectually, we know this, but in some switched-on, triggered moment we decided to not just put away childish things but childhood altogether. But it never really leaves us, does it? How could anyone lose what never left?
Somewhere along the journey, those childhood days begin to bubble to the surface, the truth we knew then, buried, lost, what we thought we had forgotten finds its way through the layers of life and an ego filled self-image.
A truth rising finds the surface of our consciousness, reveals within us something we did not wish to know or face about our self.
It's a hard task to know the false image, the self-congratulatory pats on the back amount to nothing in God's presence. Remarkable in his grace, the truth rising is an emptying of that falseness, a way to clear the air between us and our maker.
And having thus emptied, we are now free to receive the inheritance in wait. Kept, Peter says. Poverty, the emptying of pride and its following sins, grants to God an open and receptive heart and allows that heart to claim God's inheritance and to be claimed by it. God's will wills His way.
American author Sarah Young writes, "You are mine for all time -- and beyond time, into eternity. No power can deny you your inheritance in heaven. I want you to realize how utterly secure you are! Even if you falter as you journey through life, I will never let go of your hand."
Reading this devotion, God's inheritance became tangible to me.
Sinking in, I knew God meant what he said. Something living in my recesses came forward in a moment's time and its truth awakened me to a deeper understanding, like a child rising for air.
To those who have ears, truth is unfading.