The Sound of a Distant Trumpet

Ecclesiastes 3:11

The writer of Ecclesiastes gives us one of the sublime statements of the Bible about God’s creative handiwork: “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecc. 3:11).

It is mind-boggling to contemplate the beauty and majesty of God’s creation. Our world is one of extravagant beauty and marvelous design. We live under star-strewn skies, are greeted each day with the grand spectacle of a sunrise, walk among the exquisite beauty of flowers and songs of birds and know the restless tides of oceans and the towering grandeur of mountains. These and countless wonders all about us render us fabulously wealthy with the endowments of our Creator.

The text also brings us one of the unexpected summits of this book: “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).

All around us God has put intimations of our immortality. He has planted within us an unrelenting intuition to see beyond temporal horizons and press beyond the limits of the finite. A sense of destiny haunts us. Eternal forces ripple in our blood. Immortal cadences echo in our ears. Sublime visions flash upon the screen of our imagination. Eternity beckons as deep calls unto the depths God has put in our souls.

With Francis Thompson, from his haunting “The Hound of Heaven,” we hear the sound of a distant trumpet: “Yet ever and anon a trumpet sounds/From the hid battlements of Eternity.”

Augustine summarized this longing and homesickness of the soul: “O God, You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in You.”

“Eternity is at our hearts,” wrote Thomas Kelly, “pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life.”

May we yield to this Light within who brings radiance and joy and fullfillment.

Henry Gariepy, Wisdom to Live By


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