Because this phrase "Carpe Aeternatatum" is so unique, I should probably explain where I found out about it. I think you many better understand my vision after you read this story.
I had the incredible blessing of attending a private Christian school for junior high and high school. While there are many stereotypes associated with this type of schooling, this school was foundational to the person I am today. As my junior year of high school approached, my Bible class started to discuss possibilities for themes for our next year of chapel services we had once a week. We wanted a broad theme that all the chapel messages could fit under. After much discussion, our Bible teacher came up with the idea of using "Carpe Aeternatatum." He explained, much like I did in my last post, that despite its popularity, carpe deim was not the right mentality for a Christian to embrace while forsaking the effects the present and even the past has on the future. We really liked the suggestion, and started to work on developing this theme. Our teacher suggested that we use 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 as our theme passage:
For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Cor 5:1-10 ESV)
The underlined part was our main verse. I'm not going to go into detail on this passage in this post, but I wanted you to know this idea's scriptural basis. As we looked at this passage and discussed it, one thing that became evident is that we were not meant to have our heads always stuck in the things of this world, but that we must live our lives in light of of the hope we have of an eternity spent with our Lord. When we began to realize the power of this theme, it changed everything.
That year of chapels was awesome, but the other amazing part of what happened with this theme is that it began a part of everything else. Our Bible classes, certain projects, and even our yearbook was themed "Carpe Aeternatatum"
This is a picture of my graduating class our junior year (yes, my whole class! This was all the people I graduated with!), in a picture they took for the yearbook. We wanted to get pictures like these of every class in the school, but for some reason, we only got 6 of them! We wanted it to remind us of a clock, and to remind us that our time on this earth is short. On the page that we had these pictures, we referred Ecclesiastes 3:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace. (Ecc. 3:1-8 ESV)
I will never forget how the understanding I have come to have on this topic has come to have on my life. These verses are the main framework from which I shall pull my understanding of this topic. And from this framework, I wish to explore how it effects other areas of our lives and our worldview. If you want to find out how, please stay tuned!
[This second shot is funny because some of us were laughing. Enjoy!]