The photo above is taken at a cool place. It's a spot on the map where four states intersect with each other. It's called Four Corners and it's on an Indian reservation. The four states are Mexico, Utah, Colorado and Arizona. In this picture taken in 2009, I'm managing to be in four states at one time -- talk about multi-tasking!
I thought of this picture when I was doing a lesson in my Bible study, "All Things New," by Kelly Minter, and she made a statement that struck me as being very relevant. She wrote, "I can think of a few dividing lines in my life, experiences that marked a before and after. Some were amazing; others painful."
The point for this post is that each state has a dividing line from the other state. Except in situations that produce a cute photo opt, we are on one side of a dividing line or the other side. The dividing line we're talking about here is the "before and after" line that pops up in our lives on a regular basis and marks our life's calendar with both gladness and sadness.
One of our family's dividing lines happened three months ago today when My brother and sister-in-law went up to heaven. The tragic events surrounding their home-going were traumatic, producing a stark before and after. As my sister Ava said, our lives will never be the same. In truth, there are many dividing lines in our lives that cause a complete shift in our paths, though few as horrific as our most recent shift.
Consider various dividing lines in life. Marriage takes us from being single before, to being a couple hoping for a happily ever after. The birth of a child presents a big dividing line -- such as before I was able to sleep -- after ... not so much. These are some of the good before and after events that dot our lives. As Kelly Minter pointed out, "Some are amazing; others painful."
When my husband Larry lost vision in one of his eyes, one day before he could see and the next day marked an after when his vision in that eye was no more. We had a similar feeling when my 91-year old mother fell and broke her hip. The remainder of her two years of life were marked by before and after that event.
Getting back to the Bible lesson - Kelly continued by writing, "All of us living today are on the backside of history's most epic event: Christ's death and resurrection...this historic dividing line can do nothing but change our thinking." Various times I've considered how glad I am that I was born after Christ's death and not before. For one thing, we are so blessed to have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us - something the early believers usually did not have. And, we can know our Redeemer personally.
Dividing lines in life can be turning points in our lives that cause us to look at life more carefully. It can be a time as scripture would say, "to examine ourselves" - to check the direction our lives have been heading. Dividing lines can be life-changers for better or worse. I think we all know that "better" is not only better, but best.
From our earthly view, some dividing lines can be so painful. We know from scripture how the disciples felt on the day Jesus was crucified on the cross. They were devastated and from their earthly view, life as they knew it was over. Ironically, life as they knew it was indeed over - but for the best. That painful death and later resurrection was, from heaven's view, the triumph of eternity because, at last, sin's debt had been paid once for all and the promise made in the garden had been fulfilled.
From heaven's view, the eternal before and after is this: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new" 2 Corinthians 5:17.