Eternity Changes Everything: How to live in the light of your future by Stephen Witmer
I remember watching online Nik Wallenda walking on the high wire across Niagara Falls, Ontario in June, 2012. I just watched the highlights a few minutes ago to refresh my memory. I was impressed with the fact that although he made it look easy, it was apparent that it was a dangerous feat to accomplish because of the winds, the mist, the slope of the wire as it dipped 35 feet downward and then upward again. The balance beam moved around more than I had ever seen in a performance before. It was hard work, but he made it across.
If you could picture yourself as a tightrope walker, what lines would you be trying to balance between? What would you use as your balance beam that keeps you steady and surefooted on that high wire? Is your beam helping you keep your footing effectively? If your foot has slipped a few times, and whose hasn’t, perhaps you are using a balance beam that’s not so helpful. I would like to share with you a book that may hold the key for surety of foot in the balance act of life: Eternity Changes Everything by Stephen Witmer.
“Our view of the future–whether it’s our vacation, our career, our health, or anything else–affects how we feel and how we act, in the present.”
The author devotes the first half of this compact 12-chapter book skillfully drawing vivid mental pictures of our future from a Biblical perspective. His intention is to offer his readers more than hope–a certainty we can count on without the plague of doubts nagging at us. He uses a variety of illustrations, a giant golden cube, a tic tac toe game, an oak tree, and his GRE exam, to drive home his point.
“And because those chapters are about our future, the rest of the book is about our present, about the difference knowing our future makes to how we view our lives, and live our lives, right now.”
Our lives seem to be all about a balancing act. Should we live for right now, or should we live for the future? Or can we do both? How much should our view of the future influence our present? How much should we invest in this life to improve it? When should we settle and when should we not settle for what life seems to offer us? If you are struggling with a disconnect between looking back, looking forward, and living in the here and now, this book may help you gain a better perspective.
Witmer coins an intriguing phrase in this book: restless patience. It’s a paradoxical combination of terms that may not make much sense to us until we have finished the second half of his book. But ask yourself these questions. When is restlessness a good trait? How much patience is the right amount and when is it alright to be impatient? I won’t spoil the idea by telling you more, but I can tell you that this concept has already fixed itself in my mind’s eye through the use of illustration and will stay with me a long time. It has set me thinking about my motivations for the things I do right now and will do in the months to come. That’s a sign of a great book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Cross Focused Reviews (A Service of Cross Focused Media, LLC)on behalf of The Good Book Company. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”