Yesterday I got thinking about Russell Crowe. OK, not in thinking about him, more in playing the role of Maximus in the film ‘Gladiator’. In the film, Maximus is spurred on by meeting his dead family in lush, never-ending fields of wheat. A place of peace and calm. These images come from the belief that Romans had in the Elysium Fields, the place of the after life.
You see I’d spent the afternoon in North Wales, walking around fields. From time to time I need to get away, to think and pray. The day was gorgeous, the sun shining, which in England (or Wales – don’t want to upset the welsh) can be a rare occurrence.
As I wound my way through footpaths in the village of Llanarmon-y-ial, my mind got to thinking about our future, what we dedicate our lives to and where we go. Often I’d struggled to focus in my aims and desires for my life, wanting to serve God, but also wanting many other more material things. Sometimes I’ve wandered if there would be any harm in chasing those things. On the other hand I thought, I wander if my very existence hinges on not chasing after those things.
So off down a footpath I went, until I came to some fields, tall grass blowing in the winds. As I climbed over the stile, I felt that what I was witnessing was important. I sat down and tried to take it in. That was then my thoughts turned to what the Romans knew as the Elysium Fields or Heaven to you and me.
What we do now counts in heaven. As I looked across to the fields I could feel in my Spirit the worth of dedicating your life to things that for the time being are unseen. Everyone chases after material goods or status. I chase after things. Even the Church chases after things. What about
the list goes on and on. None of those things will count in the afterlife. To chase after them is literally like a chasing after the wind.
Yesterday as I looked over those fields I had a feeling of eternity. To truly succeed, we need to base our lives on that perspective, not by the perspective that is prevalent around us.
If we don’t, we’ll always feel awkward being flexible about our work because what is around us will make us feel secure, we’ll always feel awkward about faith, because faith is understanding eternal power and destiny within our normal lives. We will never actually step out and do something eternal.
To put it bluntly, we will miss out.
As I observed the grass being blown in the winds, I thought of the verse in the Bible where the Spirit is likened to the wind that blows as it pleases. To not live eternally, to chase after the things of this world, means we never get caught up in a pursuit for eternity, maybe we never truly live. That seems such a shame when we have the opportunity…
Jesus said whoever wants to keep their life in this world will lose it and whoever loses their life in this world will gain it for all eternity.
To apparently loose everything, means you gain more than you ever imagined.