Today I left right after church was over to take a short day trip with a few friends. I gave Emerald a kiss before I got in the car, and with a huge grin on her face, she chirped, “Bye! Try not to die!”
I’ll tell you, there aren’t too many things that will make you more paranoid about dying than your three year old bringing it up right before a car ride.
Thankfully, we went on our way, and I have lived to tell you about it. (However, I did double check my seatbelt a few times.) Today wasn’t my day to die. I’m glad. But, according to current statistics, over 150,000 people died today. And another 150,000 will die tomorrow. As much as you and I try not to think about it, one day it will be our day. One day we will all die.
Aren’t you glad you read this post today? Happy Monday!
The truth is that we spend a lot of time avoiding thoughts of dying. We wake up every morning assuming that we will still be around to lie down again at night. We forget about how fragile we are, how unpredictable life can be, and how our plans don’t always come to fruition. We think of life in terms of someday, and we tuck away all sorts of intentions that we never seem to follow through with. No worries, we think. Life is long. I have plenty of time. But, what if life is short?
What if tomorrow is my day?
What would I wish I had done differently today? Would I question whether I had scolded my kids more than I smiled at them? Would I feel regret over the tone of voice I used when speaking to my husband? Would I wonder why I had spent time saying unkind things about someone? Would I long for the chance to mend a relationship? Would I wish for one more opportunity to speak life instead of criticize?
Would I know beyond any doubt that I had truly lived today for God’s glory and not my own? Would I be prepared to stand in the presence of a holy God, knowing how I lived today?
I wonder if I would die with all assurance that I have truly bowed my knee in reverence to the almighty God of the Universe today?
Or would I spend my last moments knowing that in the depths of my soul, I have defiantly held tight to parts of me that should have died a long time ago?
I die every day, Paul wrote.
What if tomorrow is not my day?
If tomorrow I live, will I die anyway? Dying to self, killing off the old me so that I can really live for Him?
I pray so. Tomorrow I live, God willing. And, tomorrow I die, with God’s help. New life in Christ: dying to self every day of living.
This is Christianity. The faith that requires us to take up an instrument of torture and death. The call to come and die. It isn’t pretty and neat and all tied up with a bow, this process of being sanctified. It isn’t all love and flowers and candy hearts. This life is a series of little deaths. Someday I’ll explain this to Emerald, my little caution light. The truth is, Christians should be shouting this truth: Try to die today. Live every moment that you have left for His glory, and with each step on this narrow path, leave behind the parts of you that need to die. And, one tiny death at a time, grow more and more like the One who is life–die to self, and live.