I always find it difficult to come to grips with the sad reality that sometimes it takes tragedy in life to offer the appropriate perspective of how short life is, how precious it is.
I’m as guilty as anyone else at taking the very concept of life itself for granted. We all make plans and walk through life with the assumption that we’re going to be here on Earth for a long time. The simple reality is that none of us know when our final hour will come.
Yesterday I learned of two deaths that took place in my community. I didn’t have a personal relationship with either of the two people, but it affected me as though I had.
It was a sobering reminder of the fragility of life. It can all be taken away in an instant, in a way that we don’t see coming.
How different would our lives be if we knew that we had one more week to live? How differently would we treat our relationships with other people? How differently would our attitudes toward the small, petty things become?
I think when we all truly think about those questions, we realize that many things would be different. The disagreements or strained relationships we have with others would seem so…….unimportant. Would we not do our best to mend those relationships before our time was up?
It’s a challenging thought to live your life as though each day is your last day. It’s one of the most cliche sayings that gets tossed around. “Live every day as if it’s your last.” We all hear that and get the meaning behind it, but rarely do we ever put that saying into practice.
The simple truth of the matter is none of us know when our final day on Earth will come. God has laid out a plan for each of our lives, and no two lives are ever exactly the same. And many times, it’s so difficult to ever be ready for our time to come to an end.
In the past 24 hours I’ve reflected about what ultimately I believe all of us as followers of Christ are here for, and that’s to bring the gospel and love of Jesus Christ to the world. What are we waiting for? Why do we not make that the top priority each day when we get out of bed? And again, how different would our lives be if we did?
It would be drastically different. It would change everything about us. And ultimately, that’s what Jesus does. He changes everything about us and makes us more like Him.
Look, there are going to be people who are never going to accept Christ as their savior and frankly have no interest in even entertaining the thought of doing so. That’s just the way it is.
But I also believe there are people who have been convicted by the spirit. They’ve been interested in learning more about God and have felt the pull to pursue Him. But they’ve pulled away because now just “isn’t the right time. I’ll do that later in life”, they say.
The problem with that line of thinking is that you don’t know that “later in life” is going to come around.
So if you’re someone today that’s been waiting to make a decision to follow Jesus, I encourage you to do so today. If you’re someone who is dealing with a strained relationship, mend it. Forgive. Love. Life is too short to spend it squabbling over things that ultimately don’t matter.
James 4:13-15 sums it up like this:
“Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”