Perhaps we live to a good old age and with a deep sense of peace we welcome death knowing we’ve accomplished the work God has given us to do. Or maybe like Paul, we find ourselves torn between wanting to go and be with Christ and wanting to stay to continue the work that is ours. It seems death will greet most of us with many things still left undone in this life.
On the one hand, this is a sober reminder to keep a balanced perspective on the many achievements we seek to accomplish. All of our hard work doesn’t stop the circle of life from continuing. And eventually we must pass the baton on to the next generation – not knowing if they will continue building on what we started or let it come to ruin.
This helps us to invest in things that will matter in the long run and not simply try to make a name for ourselves that will be forgotten within a generation or two.
It also helps us to remember we’re in a story much larger than ourselves. It was never up to us to do it all. We stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us and we prepare the next generation as best we can. But ultimately this is God’s story and we can trust his story will not be left undone.
All the same, there’s a sense in which life in this world is just the prologue of all that is still to come. With the good and faithful servants who faithfully handled what their master had given them, it seems we too will be given even more responsibilities as we co-reign with Christ. And as such, it seems likely we will also be able to continue in some version of the joy of our work and creativity.
This brings hope and peace as we still get to discover the fullness of our creative selves in the life to come even as we leave things left undone in this life.
Work hard during all the days God has given you. And rest in peace knowing you’ve faithfully played your part in his story, and the best is still yet to come, even as it seems left undone in parting from life in this world.