I don’t want to dwell on the subject too much, but I’m still experiencing new insights and emotions stemming from my recent heart attack and surgery.
Today, I sat through the funeral service for the father of some childhood friends of ours. Thankfully, he was a follower of Christ, and his homegoing was more of a celebration than a time of mourning.
But it was when I walked up to the casket a little while ago that the cold reality of my own mortality chilled me. It’s one thing to say you know that death will come to us all, that one day we all will breath our last breath and meet God, but had it not been for a shift change and a doctor who did one more blood test, I would have been in a casket last week!
It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). I could have been in the presence of God at this moment, but I’m not. I could have been lying there, stiff, cold, dressed in my best suit. I could have been dead, but I wasn’t.
Yet, it will happen, eventually.
You, me, all of us…it will happen.
But here’s the disturbing thing: no matter how much I’d like to boast to the contrary, I’m not ready, at least not nearly enough.
Sure, my salvation is secure; that’s not the issue. I will be clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and my works will have nothing to do with whether or not I will enter into the presence of my Father and King; by grace I am saved through faith.
But I wasn’t ready last week, and I’m barely more ready, today. What am I talking about?
I wasn’t living with the immediate expectation that at any moment my number would be called, that my appointment was near. Maybe this is why I did not have a real sense of urgency. I was living like tomorrow was a given.
But it’s not.
Some have asked, “I bet you feel like you’ve been given a new lease on life, don’t you?” Well, yeah! But it’s only a “lease,” and one day what I’ve been given must be returned.
Did you know there are penalties for returning a leased car in poor condition?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve been acting more like I own this ride, but in reality I should be cleaning out the cup holders and doing a little vacuuming.
I don’t know when my lease is up.
(Expect more thoughts on this subject as reality continues to sink in.)