"Why does my heart go on beating?
Why do these eyes of mine cry?
Don't they know it's the end of the world?
It ended when we said goodbye."
These rather depressing lyrics are from the song, "The End of the World," written by Nina Gordon and sung by Skeeter Davis in 1962. The reason I am quoting them here:They are a perfect illustration of a homey little proverb I heard many times growing up:
"Don't go putting all your eggs in one basket."
The young lady has just suffered a severe heartbreak. The boy she loves ended their relationship. To her, it's "the end of the world," because this relationship was EVERYTHING to her; without his love, not only is HER life "over," but she feels everyone else's should be, also. She can't understand how the world can go on when her world has ended.
You don't want to "put all your eggs in one basket," because if that basket somehow tumbles to the ground, ALL your eggs will break and you'll be left with NOTHING; whereas, if you spread out your eggs among two or more baskets, even if you drop one, you still have some eggs left; the loss is not complete.
This poor, heartbroken young woman "put all her eggs in one basket;" her whole heart and the entire value of her life was entirely invested in this one relationship.
Another example of "putting all your eggs in one basket" is the many men who leapt to their deaths from tall buildings when the market crashed in 1929, starting the Great Depression. Because they lost a great deal of money, perhaps ALL their money, they could see no future; in their minds, their lives were "over;" they were "ruined."
Still another is the epitaph on a tombstone in an old cemetary marking the grave of a young girl, evidently an only child, who had died unexpectedly at nine years of age.
It reads, "All our hopes were in this frail bark; and the shipwreck is total."
I do not doubt for one minute the emotional devastation all these folks experienced. The end of a cherished love. Financial ruin. The death of a beloved child; intensified by the fact that this child is the "only child;" the sole, unrivaled object of all parental affection.
I refuse to demean or diminish the terrible blow that these events obviously dealt to the poor souls in question. I do not mock or belittle their pain in any way.
I understand, and I personally validate the emotional anguish involved.
But I also refuse to acknowledge that the whole value of LIFE is summed up, and can be taken away, by any of the above tragedies.
Any personal tragedy like the above can only be "the end of the world" if we're "putting all our eggs in one basket."
I would not necessarily use this line of thought to try to "reason" with raw emotions; especially the off-the-charts emotions of such heart-wrenching grief. I realize that, though my arguments here may be perfectly logical, they could very well seem grossly insensitive and be less than meaningless to a person who is just wiped out by the trauma of loss.
But I feel certain that how we respond to that loss, including the very height and depth of our emotions, is based to a large degree on what we most fundamentally believe; our perceptions of God, of life, of ourselves and what it is that ought to be held in the very highest esteem; what it is that ought to be most deeply valued.
At some point, when the crisis is not so immediate and fresh; when the emotions that have been raging at such a fever pitch have subsided a bit, we do really need to reason it out. We do really need to get to the bottom of our base values in life; the fundamental mindset from which we operate.
It may be essential to one's survival to realize that a quality life that is truly purposeful and fulfilling may still be had even in the face of such personal tragedies. And THAT IS JUST TALKING ON THE PURELY TEMPORAL LEVEL. Even if we just take a good look at all the possibilities of our physical lives here on planet earth, there is still SO much to live for, even after sustaining such heavy losses. Not saying it will be easy or without substantial hurt.
But a Christian should never be living only for, or primarily for, the temporal. Not ever.
Here's a real kick in the gut: I believe one reason God actually allows such tragic happenings in our lives is to show us just how much we have been "putting all our eggs in one basket" -- AND IT IS THE WRONG BASKET!
A Christian has much, much more than just an assortment of baskets to resort to in this earthly, TEMPORAL life. A Christian has a whole 'nother category of basket -- THE ETERNAL.
Surely, if a person believes there really is such a thing as ETERNAL LIFE, and that person is asked to choose between investing his or her life in the temporal, or in the eternal, a thinking person will choose the ETERNAL every time. Right???
But is that really the way most of us live? What percentage of the egg population is REALLY going into that ETERNAL basket??
Paul says, "Seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God; set your affection on things above, NOT on things on the earth; for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:1-3).
Whatever your tragedy here on earth . . . let me say that again: WHATEVER your tragedy here on earth, if you've placed your faith in Jesus Christ, YOUR LIFE IS CERTAINLY NOT "RUINED" -- IT IS NOT EVEN TOUCHED!
Your True LIFE cannot be ruined or even harmed, because it is "HID with Christ in God."
Paul further says, "Our CONVERSATION is in Heaven" (Philippians 3:20). When you understand more precisely what that means, I believe you'll see that if we are ever going to "put our eggs in ANY ONE BASKET," it really ought to be the ETERNAL basket.
These are the truths that have so helped me cope with the agonizing loss of a truly lovely boy when he was virtually at the beginning of a life that held such amazing potential. A loss that a friend has described as the amputation of a limb, with no one around who is able to stop the bleeding. That is certainly an apt description of how it feels.
My old friend, Miles Stanford, had a correspondence ministry. He had an extensive mailing list, and he used to edify and encourage his correspondents (like me) through the U.S. mail.
On the outside of the 8 1/2 by 11 inch envelopes he mailed, he would stamp two favorite sayings:
1) "Abide Above"
2) "Keep looking DOWN"
Miles was talking about laying claim to our position in Christ according to Ephesians 2:6 "And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ."
Taking our proper place in the heavenlies by faith gives us an amazing, breathtaking change in perspective on what happens to us here and now; IF WE WILL ACTUALLY BELIEVE AND TAKE PROPER ADVANTAGE OF IT.
We'll talk more soon, Lord willing