Over centuries, the Japanese have organically developed a system of massive stones set to mark the height water lines of past known tsunamis. (1)
Some look built by rich men, with carvings and calligraphy to tickle your minimalist Asiatic-pining heartstrings. Others look as if the men were just thankful to get the blasted things moved to the spot without the aid of electricity.
All of them will almost undoubtedly be there long after you die.
And after the Portland Trailblazers win their next championship.
And after Twitter files for bankruptcy and has its global network gobbled up by predators in the year 2342.
And after Joe the Conqueror gets to see what is really in Fort Knox in the year 2783.
And after the first Lutheran Mass completes its holy benedictions on Mars in 3176 (just twenty years after everyone else).
But this is to say whatever else may transpire between now and then, there is a quality chance that those stones will still be standing to see the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Generally, the same cannot be said of…
- your family’s last name (You, too, Smith, you cocksure mutton mouth!);
- the popularity of your first name as a new name for children in a few generations;
- huge stone cathedrals built specifically to last until Jesus comes back;
- your local church always being there to go to on the Lord’s Day.
But if your local church is going to meet together every week until Jesus come back, it will be because right now you are using the opportunity of a worldwide, viral, critical, economic and existential tsunami of pandemic, panic and Purell, to do four things together.
- Push pause on the endless dubstep remix of Crazy Train that has inserted itself where your life used to be.
- Go find the watermark stones that God put there.
- Don't move them.
- Make damned sure no one gets a hankering to move them.
The wisdom of the Japanese on this matter is critical. If you are going to devote your life to anything, what could ever be more compelling than learning to see and achieve such things? Pebbles alone are carried off at whim, and what is a statue but the vainest paperweight. But to set before men such good works as can serve them both today and one thousand years from now?
This would be the sweetest success, and all the more sweet for the dream begun and the end left entirely in the hands of the God of history.
For, there are also other things. The great work and true stones are more weighty and real than even boulders. Indeed, should the whole planet give way, these watermarks shall not be moved. (Hence, the need for the Lord’s Supper on Mars on both counts...)
But better still than seeing what I did there is what follows here:
The good man says, "Find the need for stones today, and fill it with your efforts and hopes."
But the wise man shows you a better way still, "Find the stones that have been left from those who came before, and trust them to know a thing or two more than you do."
Especially when the guy who healed leprosy with a touch of the finger put them there for you.
Be strong, and let your hearts take courage,
Wait for the Lord,
(1) Hat Tip: Wired Magazine, What We Leave Behind, Paul Ford, May 2020.