Dying is not something I think about on a daily basis. In fact – it’s something that I usually purposely choose NOT to think about. It is not until I have to attend a funeral that I am once again faced with the reality that I am not invincible and that tomorrow is never promised to anyone, including me. Last week I had the opportunity to attend a funeral and as I was standing there looking at the coffin with the body of a lifeless person lying inside, I had a million things running through my mind. When we are faced with the concept of death it usually reminds us of many important things in life. Such as cherishing the people in our lives because they can be gone any moment. Living our lives to the fullest because we never know when it will end. Living to make a difference in the world no matter how small it may be…
But as I stood there and watched there was only one word that came to mind: purpose. The person lying lifeless in that coffin no longer has a purpose for living in this world. For some reason God chose to take them home at this specific time. That person can no longer wake up the next morning and go about their daily routine. They no longer have a chance to impact the lives of the people around them. No- their time on earth is done and gone… and all that is left of them is a cold body in a coffin that symbolizes the person that they once were.
When I wake up every morning I don’t usually think about the fact that I’m still alive and breathing and ready to begin my day. I don’t usually take the time to thank God for giving me one more day to live because it happens…well, every day. But being at the funeral made me realize something: as long as you’re alive – you have a purpose. God wants you to live another day. He’s giving you another chance to do things the right way, to serve Him, to make a difference. Because if there was no purpose for you, you would be lifeless, lying in a grave. But you’re not, therefore you have a reason to get up every morning and be thankful for a brand new day. You have a reason to make your life count for something.
Growing up I always had this idea that when I die and go to heaven God is going to show me a video of my life. Every scene, every detail, every moment forever recorded by Him. Today as I was sitting in my office and contemplating this idea I came to realize that life isn’t like a movie at all. There’s no rewind button to bring back the past. No fast forward button to predict the future. No pause to stop and figure things out before going back on camera. No blooper re-run’s with all the things erased. Instead- you are filmed live every second, every minute, every day. It’s important that at the end- the story of YOUR life is worth watching. That there will not be too many scenes that you wish could be erased.
And the beautiful thing is – it’s up to YOU every day to decide what it is that you will do. What kind of role you will play. What kind of life you will lead. I read this quote from a book I was recently reading: “Is life any less precious because we don’t know how much we have left?” Would you live differently today if you knew you would die tomorrow? You shouldn’t. Because although you are so used to tomorrow coming, to some people tomorrow will never come. And you never know when one day that person will be you… May this be a reminder to you that life really IS short. Make each day count, because it’s a gift from God. A gift that can never be taken back… Be blessed. 🙂
“What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” -James 4:14