We are all on a perpetual camping trip. It may or may not feel like one, but every person is living in a tent. One of the challenges of the biblical writers is that they worked to communicate hope and spiritual realities in concrete language. So, when the Apostle Paul likens our current lives to being in a tent he means that what we are experiencing now with our bodies is temporary. Compared to the eventual permanent resurrected body, our existence now is temporary and not very glorious.
We would consider someone homeless if they lived in a tent on a permanent basis. In many ways, the Christian is homeless, not really at home in this present body and world. So, it is rather curious that many believers in Jesus can be ruthlessly attached to the trappings and stuff of this contemporary campground. If we were to make a list of all the things we do and all the things we have that are extra-biblical, that is, not specifically mentioned in the Bible, it would not take long to discover that much of what we do on a day to day basis, not to mention through church ministry, is simply temporary. Yet, too many persons cling to their stuff and their ways as if it will endure forever.
In those times when we experience bereavement; in the situations that demonstrate that we are mortal; and, in the circumstances that occur in which we glimpse how fleeting this present life can be, we begin to understand that what we need to be living for is the permanence of relationships expressed through the ever-present Spirit of God. It is good for us to long for a better day when we will no longer groan in the tent of this body so that we will connect with the unseen God who goes before us, with us, after us.
Eternal God, who always has been and always will be, help me to so connect with your Holy Spirit that I can discern the difference between what is temporary and what is permanent. Guide me with your holy hand so that I can place my present efforts into the things that will make a difference for eternity, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.