I am not exactly sure when it began. I don’t even know if I can explain to you all of the symptoms I have experienced. Several times over the past month we thought I was having a mild heart attack. To this day, no one is convinced that I actually had one. But one thing is sure–I have had a heart cath. That’s short for heart catheterization. This morning a well-respected heart surgeon investigated my heart through the use of dye and x-ray the ins-and-outs of my pumper. The results were what we had hoped–no apparent issues, no blockages, and no signs of heart disease. Whatever was causing my symptoms, my heart is currently off the hook. For that information, we are indeed grateful.
Have you ever faced your mortality?
This is the second experience in which I genuinely felt as if I was staring death in the face. This time I did not flinch. Death does not frighten me. It is only a dark gate which will open and allow me to experience eternal light. I have no concerns for my soul. My concern focuses on my wife and my children. I do not want to leave Jodi a widow. I do not want my children to be fatherless. Yet I am not in charge of the moment of my death any more than I orchestrated the moment of my birth. These are events fully controlled by God. He chose March 18, 1965, for my arrival. He has also chosen the specific day for my departure. It might still be today. It may be ten years from now. I may live to be older than my grandfather. It’s all up to Him.
But something is up to me–how I live today.
Since death is out of my sphere of control, I must concentrate my efforts on that which is–living each and every day. And–that living has purpose. I have the incredible opportunity to glory in Christ and glorify Christ. Today affords me the privilege of knowing and showing Christ. Furthermore, I have been both equipped and exhorted to bless others. As a result, every day has significance. Every sunrise is a reminder that I am to be about this mission of loving God and loving others.
Jonathan Edwards was a man on this mission. Consider the following resolutions:
5. Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.
7. Resolved, never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.
17. Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
This is truly living in light of eternity. This is how I want to live. I want my only regret on my deathbed to be the fact that I cannot take my loved ones with me to heaven.
But am I living this mission today? Are you?
I used to say that I want others to consider me to be a godly man by the time I am fifty. Now–just three years away from the BIG 50–I know that will not be reality. So I pushed that hope back another ten years. By the time I am sixty, I want those who know me to think of me as a man who is Christ-exalting and people-blessing. But for that to be the case, I must consistently cultivate my relationship with Christ, and I must hold myself accountable to ministering to the needs of those around me. And “those around me” begins at home–with Jodi and the kids. And that’s why I want to keep living even though it is “better by far” to be HOME with Jesus.
So, if you are reading this blog, my guess is that I am still among the land of the living. And living is exactly what I plan to do.
Won’t you join me?