CAMPING OUT ON PLANET EARTH
I like camping. I started camping as a Boy Scout and continued in the U.S. Army. When I was young my grandfather made tents in the living room out of blankets and sheets. I did the same for my children. Each summer we camped in the Poconos..
I loved living in a new tent! Everything was clear, functional and organized. However, tents have a way of falling apart easily. They are temporary, flimsy and collapse. Just like our bodies!
Peter recognized this analogy and used a “tent” to refer to his physical body twice (2 Peter 1:13-14). Paul, too, saw our bodies as temporary shelters used on our way from one location (earth) to another (heaven) (2 Corinthians 5:1-4). Soldiers, travelers and traders used tents as they moved from place to place. How true it is of this physical body!
Our bodies are temporary, for this life only. James says this life is like a vapor that appears and is gone (James 4:14). Our bodies are flimsy and easily broken, subject to all kinds of disease and ailments. I don’t know about you, but my tent is wearing out !
Thinking of my body as a temporary tent helps. The real me that lives inside will move on to a much better building in an everlasting Kingdom prepared by Jesus Himself (John 14:2). We don’t “die,” we move out of what was meant to be a temporary dwelling while traveling through this life. We move into a glorious eternal dwelling with God, Jesus, angels and saints.
So, think of this life as camping out (1 Peter 2:11-12). All of us are terminal (Hebrews 9:27). We can’t be overly concerned about how our tent is doing today. It’ll get us through as long as we need it, then we leave it behind. I’m learning to spend more time thinking about and preparing for my next residence than the gradual decay of the one I’m currently in. How about you?
Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
How preoccupied are you about how your ‘tent’ is looking and feeling today? Are you a good steward of your body? Do you spend too much time worrying about it and trying to make it appear young? Do you ignore basic maintenance and let it fall apart quicker than it should? Thank God for the body He chose for you (Psalm 139:13-16) but remember it is just a temporary tent. The best is yet to come!