The Wisdom and Poverty of William Faulkner

A quote both brilliant and sad, from William Faulkner:

The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist’s way of scribbling “Kilroy was here” on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.”

Mr. Faulkner well understood that we will all perish and that we could leave little behind—something perhaps, but little—that would affect men. However, we will not pass into oblivion, we will pass into eternity, and what we do has an effect on eternity, whether we are artists or not. There is more to immortality than leaving something behind, there is working for God; there is glorifying Christ; there is not wasting our lives. Not to oblivion, to eternity; not leaving something behind, but seeing people saved; that is immortality. As Paul put it, And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” (2Cor 3:3 ESV)

May we aid the Holy Spirit in his work of writing his spirit onto tablets of human hearts. That will suffice for eternity.
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