If you had the option to live your current life here on earth forever, would you choose to do so?
We attended a play some time ago put on by a local high school. Tuck Everlasting. It was a new story to me. Is it new to you? If so, I’ll tell you a little bit about it quickly and painlessly:
Jesse Tuck drank water from a magic spring that causes him to remain the age of 17. Forever. No death, no aging. None of that nonsense. His parents and his brother also drank the water. Jesse has been the age of seventeen for 104 years when Winnie, a young girl, stumbles across “17 year old” Jesse and they become friends. Eventually Winnie learns about the magic water and has to make a choice. Drink the magic water, become immortal. Or not.
It seems like an easy choice.
You might surmise that the decision for Winnie is obvious. Drink the water, little girl! Stay young forever!
Often I find myself in the company of my littlest grandson. I was 62 when he was born. He’s one year old in the picture below. The math is simple, the facts are painfully clear. I most likely will not be alive still to experience much of his young adulthood.
Sometimes I held him a little bit after he fell asleep. I gazed at his angelic precious sleeping face and started thinking about the above math problem.
And I prayed as I held him close. I still pray. For him as he learns and grows, for his parents as they raise him, for his older brother as they grow up together. I ponder what the years will bring to all my children and grandchildren. I pray for them all. And I’ll be honest, sometimes a tear slides down my cheek.
Would I drink the magic water if it were given to me? Would you?
In the stage play, the Tuck family urged Winnie to not drink the water! They grew to view immortality as a curse. They had been stuck at the same age, never progressing to the next step in life. Or death. Jesse would forever be doing only what a 17 year old would do. Watching those around him mature and live full lives. And then having the pain of watching those around them die, one by one. While his family lived on in a perpetual rerun of life happening to everyone but them.
Never dying. But…..never really living either.
Winnie didn’t drink the water.
As Jesse would tell Winnie: “Don’t be afraid of death, Winnie. Be afraid of the unlived life.“
The life we live is a series of hills and valleys. Really sweet, wonderful times peppered by seriously tragic, sad times. The good. The bad. It’s life. It’s beautiful. It’s bittersweet.
Deep valley experiences make us ask God “why?”. Losing my dad to leukemia when I was 17 was an excruciating valley for me. But it wasn’t the end of my life. I look back over the past 66+ years and see that God used everything, good and bad, to make me who I am. And that’s okay. Very okay. Life is imperfect. Life is hard. But God is good.
So there’s no “magic water” that will keep us young forever. But scripture tells us that Jesus offers us living water. “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14
Jesus gives us living water!! “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him will have life everlasting.” John 3:16
If you could choose between living life forever here in this imperfect world, no end in sight…. or living our truly brief life here with hope and strength for each day, and with the promise of eternity in heaven where there is no sorrow, no pain, no more death, no more troubles??? Good news!! You CAN choose! Choose to accept the gift of life everlasting that Jesus offers! I don’t know about you, but to me that seems like a seriously easy decision to make. My dad made that decision. He’s waiting for me. Along with so many others there in heaven.
And, I’ll be waiting too. For my family and friends. For the little guy in the above picture. The hope of heaven with the circle unbroken makes this brief life so much better.
Reach out to Jesus. Drink the water He gives! Would you?