Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Immortal, Jamestown, NC
William Shakespeare, the Bard of Avon, is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language. He created a cast of characters four hundred years ago and breathed life into them through his unprecedented talent. They’ve been introduced to generations of people and include Hamlet, Macbeth, King Lear, Othello, Romeo and Juliet. These characters are part of a select club that have come close to the elusive concept of immortality through the written word. If history holds true, however, they will inevitably be lost in the sands of time. Even the bard himself can’t create a promise of hope for life everlasting and he's written about it. It’s been said that practically everyone will be forgotten within two generations.
One of Shakespeare’s most famous quotes from Macbeth says it all:
“Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
that struts and frets his hour upon the stage
and then is heard no more. It is a tale
told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
That’s a mantra for the existentialist in all of us. Solomon, acknowledged as the richest and wisest man who ever lived, writes in his opening chapter of Ecclesiastes that “there is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow”. Life is “a chasing after the wind”. And the apostle James writes in chapter 4, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes”.
Fortunately, our Creator has left us with a much more positive message in the third chapter of John, proclaiming that if we believe in the redeeming power of His Son, our ultimate destiny does not perish with the short span of this mortal and sometimes difficult earthly life. We will transition into the priceless gift of a restored and eternal spiritual life where we’ll be reunited with those who remember us and our Creator who never forgot us!