Remember the story of Arthur Stace? He was an Australian soldier who came home and wrote the words “Eternity” all over Sydney. Then on New Year’s Eve at the turn of the millennium, this word was chosen as the centrepiece for the fireworks display on the Sydney Harbour Bridge and was lit up at midnight.
Personally, I have been to quite a lot of Sydney harbour, New Year’s parties and I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt the cheer that greeted this word was SO much louder than anything I had heard before or heard since. Why is this? Why do we get so excited about a simple word like that?
Why? God has created us as eternal beings. The heart doesn’t want to believe that there is nothing to live for.
We have been made by God as eternal beings with an eternal soul. To accept anything else would be impossible as it’s part of our DNA as human beings. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” God created us in his image.
This is not saying that we look like him physically, but rather that we have his attributes such as being relational, having creativity, the ability to love and of course being immortal – having an eternal soul. As it’s ingrained into our very beings, our innermost being cannot help but be drawn to God in response to this, even if we do not realise it.
We live in a spiritual world like never before. Yes, in most areas Christianity is on the decline and indeed in this society, even knowledge of Christianity is on the decline. But is it not true that there are so many people searching for spiritual things? Think of the number of other religions that are around these days?
You just have to go and visit places like Byron Bay to see lots of these! In a recent survey by McCrindle Research, it was found that 55% of Australian talk about spirituality or religion at least occasionally. In addition, this same survey found that the vast majority of people have a very positive perception of Christians and Christianity.
So you can see our unexpected ally, can’t you? When we are speaking to people about God, there is something inside of them that is crying out for them to listen to what we are saying.
Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, “He has put eternity into man’s heart…”. So we can speak to our friends, neighbours, the people we meet wherever we are with confidence knowing that their heart is searching for the truth that we have.