My Uncle Brent, still in his thirties, committed suicide over a lost love.
Looking back over a box of memories at my sister’s house in preparation for my mother’s memorial, I saw so many relatives who’d passed on, some unexpectedly.
My stepdad had a heart attack on the freeway, dying in his early sixties.
All my grandparents were gone.
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.” (Psalm 39)
I saw my own photos: as a baby, toddler, pre-teen, teenager, adult…then thought of these lyrics from an Aerosmith song:
“Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
And it went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way?
Everybody’s got their dues in life to pay.”
I turn 63 next month and am in the last days of my life. I could pass at any time.
Robin Williams died at 63. As did Franklin Roosevelt, our 32nd President. Both Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant, died at 63. Rembrandt, too.
“The years of our life are seventy,” writes the Psalmist, “or even by reason of strength, eighty….” (Psalm 90)
I’m not afraid of death. My faith in Christ gives me great hope and a guaranteed future in Heaven. No, my main fear is that I will not have done enough for my Savior.
How about you?
This is the only time we will ever have to tell others about Jesus and the abundant life He offers. The only time we can stand with him, and for him, to speak the Gospel story that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life, and no one can come to the Father except through him.” These are the last days we have to encourage our families, bless our churches, and serve our communities in the Name that is above every name.
I want to live long, not so that I can get as much of the world as possible—my piece of the pie—nor to make my mark or create a lasting legacy. No!
The words of Count Zinzendorf ring true: “Preach Christ and die forgotten.”
Jesus must increase, I must decrease.
There are only a few days left. What are your priorities?
Tis one life,
Will soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ
(Images: Uncle Brent, my stepdad Clay and mom, grandma gets a kiss from me, my paternal grandfather, “Tata.”)