I have always found pictures to be fascinating. Perhaps everyone does to some degree. After all, just look at Instagram. More than 80 million photos are uploaded to the site every day—and each one holds some sort of significance. They all tell a story or share a memory. However, it is not what’s in the image that captivates me the most. It is the concept itself.
From the beginning of our existence, man has always sought to capture meaningful reality held in certain moments. It is our attempt to bottle up the essence of life and save it from the perils of time. It is a drive that is implanted within the human soul.
C.S. Lewis once said, ‘There have been times when I think we do not desire Heaven, but more often I find myself wondering whether, in our heart of hearts, we have ever desired anything else.’ It is this innate longing for eternity—Heaven—that lies at the core of us and bears itself out in our lives.
Although it is the year 2019, and the world continues to change at a threatening pace, human nature does not. No matter how far into the future we go, or how far technology advances, we cannot escape the ancient words of Genesis 1:27 NLT: ‘So God created human beings in His own image.’ We have been wired for eternity. It is a desire of our hearts that we seek to fulfil, even in subconscious ways.
let us be reminded by them that we are both built for eternity—and woefully far from it
Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT states, ‘Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.’
As pictures continue to flash across our screens, let us be reminded by them that we are both built for eternity—and woefully far from it. Our obsession with photos and videos are but frail attempts to create for ourselves that which we truly need.
Pictures lay bare a deep longing of the human heart that screams: ‘WE WANT THIS TO LAST!’
And the good news of the Gospel is this: LAST THEY WILL! ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.’ (John 3:16 NIV)
One day, the moments that we long to preserve and enjoy will no longer fade. They have been saved from temporality. In the flash of an eye, this world will melt away and we will live in the reality that we surely yearn for. The joy, love, and life that we capture in pictures will be unceasing and never-ending, because we will live in the kingdom of the one who Himself embodies them.
Next time we take a picture on our phone, or scroll through the photos on Instagram, we must remember this truth. Let us look for the signs of eternity that exist around us and share with others their glorious fulfilment in Christ.