It's Memorial Day – too many people see it as a great three-day weekend. A time for the beach, to grill out and picnic, a time to kick back and relax. And while it is in a way all of those things, it has a much deeper meaning. It is in reality, a time of recalling the sacrifices (for many the ultimate sacrifice of their lives) who have defended our most precious freedoms we enjoy today. It is a day that we should pause and reflect upon those who did this to help attain peace for us to enjoy, however, it is also important to think about how our longing for permanent peace -- unattainable in this world -- points us toward a world in which it is possible.
The great Christian apologist/philosopher C. S. Lewis came to a fascinating conclusion in relation to this desire. He realized that if our deepest desires cannot be satisfied in this world, then we must have been made for another world. This truth was one of the factors that ultimately led to Lewis's conversion to Christianity. The Scriptures confirm that we are designed for a different world, and they urge us to focus on the world that is yet to come. As Paul advised those in Colossae, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth" (Col. 3:2). That is where we find the ultimate permanent peace – peace with God. There will come the day, which the prophet Isaiah wrote about, the day when men will "turn their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will never again train for war.” (Isa. 2:4b)
Until then, however, we honor those who fought our wars and sacrificed for a peace that is transitory, but it is also a time for reflection about the peace that is to come.
Have a blessed Memorial Day.