Bob Tamasy: Is That All There Is?

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Why is it some people that seemingly have it all together suddenly forget where they put it? Why do individuals who appear to “have it made” embark on a path of self-destruction, often taking down friends and family members in the process? 

We see it all the time – on T.V., the Internet, newspapers and magazines (for those of us that still read them). Business executives and high-ranking politicians, despite their prominence, influence and huge salaries, experiencing colossal ethical and moral failures. Famed celebrities and professional athletes destroying their lives and careers with drug and alcohol abuse, financial recklessness, violence and boorish behavior. 

But you don’t have to be among the rich and famous to experience such personal calamity: The “perfect couple” that ends in a bitter, acrimonious divorce. The pillar of the community who one day crashes and burns in the flames of indiscretion. The pastor whose walk proves unequal to his talk. 

Years ago, songstress Peggy Lee had a hit tune with the haunting refrain, “Is that all there is?” Perhaps that’s why the rich and famous – along with the not-so-rich and not-so-famous – often seem so miserable. They’ve achieved lofty goals and realized cherished dreams, but it turns out those weren’t what they expected. Unfulfilled and disillusioned, they too start to wonder, “Is that all there is?” 

Recently I saw a video of Francis Chan, a popular preacher and best-selling author (Crazy Love, Multiply) illustrating a key factor in this puzzling phenomenon. In the video, Chan showed his audience a rope that stretched the length of a long stage from which he spoke. He held the end piece of the rope, about three inches long, that had been painted red. 

The rope’s entirety, he said, represented the timeline of one’s eternal existence. (In actuality, the rope would have had to be unending, but Chan was making a point.) The three-inch painted segment represented a person’s lifetime on earth. The problem, according to Chan, is we’re living for the wrong thing. “Some of you,” he said, “all you think about is this red part. You’re consumed with this.” 

What about the rest, Chan asked? “Everyone lives for the red part. No one’s thinking about the millions of years afterward.” 

I think he’s right. What if we viewed earthly life as just a warm-up, and death not as the finish line but as the starting line to a glorious, eternal existence for which this life has been mere preparation? 

We see this described in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed…. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…. Death has been swallowed up in victory.” 

That is a distinctive of the Christian faith, the earnest expectation and hope believers have for life after death. As Titus 2:13 states, “while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” 

Most of the time, however, as in Chan’s example, we concentrate all of our attention and effort on the tip of the rope, ignoring the remainder that extends far beyond view. Is it any wonder that even the most accomplished, most esteemed, most successful among us are prone to one day look around themselves and wonder, “It that all there is?” 

---

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, a former newspaper editor and magazine editor. He is presently vice president of communications for Leaders Legacy, Inc., a non-profit focused on mentoring and coaching business and professional leaders. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and has authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” “Business at Its Best,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. He also posts regularly on two blogs, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, and www.bobtamasy.wordpress.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.


Abba's House Honors Pastor For 35 Years Of Service

Abba’s House (Central Baptist Church of Hixson) will honor Senior Pastor Ron Phillips and his wife, Paulette, for 35 years of service on Sunday, Nov. 9 . Dr. Ron Phillips was called as the pastor of Central Baptist in September 1979 from the East Gadsden Baptist Church in Gadsden, AL. Under his leadership, the church entered a new era of growth and expansion. In addition to ... (click for more)

Thankful Missionary Baptist Honors Pianist Michelle Johnson Flanagan For 15 Years Of Faithful Service

Thankful Missionary Baptist Church is hosting an Appreciation Day for its pianist, Sister Michelle Johnson Flanagan.  The Appreciation will be held on Sunday, Nov. 9, at 4 p.m. at the church located at 980 North Orchard Knob Ave. Guest choirs from Union Grove Baptist Church and Trinity Baptist Church will take part in the celebration, as well as Thankful’s Male Chorus ... (click for more)

Chickamauga Lock To Reopen As Soon As Next Thursday

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District  plans to reopen Chickamauga Lock to all navigation traffic as early as next Thursday. An inspection of the upper gate anchorage and a repair plan were completed today. Chickamauga Lock closed on Monday after a routine inspection revealed a crack in the anchorage of the upper gate. Lt. Col. John Hudson, commander ... (click for more)

Downtown Chattanooga Apartment Complex That Brought $3 Million Profit Exempt From Most Taxes Until 2022 Under PILOT

A downtown Chattanooga apartment complex that recently was sold at a $3 million profit is exempt from most property taxes through 2022 under a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement.   No payment of school taxes was included in the deal for Walnut Commons at Walnut Street and Aquarium Way.   The only taxes due on the property for the next eight ... (click for more)

A Vote For Education Is Critical In Tennessee

In a state where just 28 percent of eighth graders are proficient in math and 33 percent are proficient in reading according to national assessments, education is deserving of more attention in 2014 elections. Across the country, more parents are making informed decisions about their child’s education, but for Volunteer State parents without resources, choices are difficult to come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Saban: ‘Ratings Don’t Matter’

When the first College Football Playoff rankings were released earlier this week, Alabama football coach Nick Saban got it right on the button when he shrugged, “I don't even care, to be honest with you." "To me, none of it matters, What does it matter?” he laughed at the Tide’s No. 6 ranking. “I mean, it only matters where you end up at the end. So what matters to us is how ... (click for more)