Sarah and I walked together the last couple of mornings because Teri, my usual walking partner, has been quite sick with a cold. During our walk, Sarah and I have enjoyed our time greatly. She had a thought this morning that I’ve continued to consider, and it is a great subject for this month’s Dad’s Corner.
Sarah wondered how life would be different if everyone wore something on the front of their clothing, maybe similar to a ChorePack, but instead of chores, it displayed the month and year a person would die. Think about how sobering it would be to have a constant reminder each time you looked at a person telling you he only had so much longer before he was going to face God in eternity. Life might look something like the following scenario.
This evening you see your neighbor and exchange a few courteous words with him as you take out the trash. You notice that he is going to die September 15th of next year. You make a mental note that you would like to spend more time discussing the Lord with him. You’ll try to work something out for next week.
You go inside and finish helping your family clean up after dinner. You look at your wife’s eternity date and wonder what her life will be like without you for the thirty additional years she is going to outlive you. You still have another fifteen years together before you die, but you can’t help but consider all the unknowns for her when you are gone. At least you are committed to giving “your all” to these last fifteen years with her and serving the Lord faithfully in everything. You have a twinge of guilt in thinking back to years that were wasted when you were younger and didn’t have the same value of time.
Your mind drifts to your brother. You both were raised in a “Christian” home where Dad and Mom were token Christians. Sadly, your brother has followed after Dad’s example and has little time for the Lord. It’s not that he is evil or anything like that. He goes to church and prays before meals, but he feels God put us on this earth to enjoy it, and he is going to have fun with everything that is not bad. His idea is that if God hasn’t said “Thou shalt not…” then it is okay, because he is “free in Christ.” As such, his life is dominated by play and entertainment, but sadly there is a noticeable absence of spiritual fruit.
You remember back years ago to when the Lord convicted you that you were Jesus’ servant and as such, you were to spend your time in accordance with His direction. That helped you understand that “free in Christ” meant you were free from the bondage of sin, but you were a servant of the living God. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). Therefore, your time was no longer yours to do with what you wanted to do.
Then your thoughts drift to next Sunday—Resurrection Sunday. Though it is a special time of deep meaning for your immediate family, it is a time of folly and nonsense for your extended family. Therefore, you have greatly mixed feelings with the approaching day knowing that conflict will arise. Your brother will insist that you and the children come over to his house for their yearly egg hunt. He always dresses up in a giant bunny costume and encourages you to “lighten up” because it is only “harmless fun.” What’s worse is that others in the extended family all side with him and think you are a legalistic “Pharisee” when you want to avoid the ungodly fun the world enjoys on Resurrection Sunday and instead focus on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection from the dead.
Your brother has declared to the family that when he hits the five year mark before he dies, he really wants to live it up. He’s saving to that end so that he can stop working and just concentrate on having the best time possible before he is “pushing up daisies.”
What a stark contrast to your life, you muse. Since you are bought with the blood of your precious Savior, Jesus Christ, you know your time is not your own. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” (1 Peter 1:18-19). You understand that a servant of the Lord Jesus only does what he is commanded or given permission to do and finds great joy in that. The world’s fun is just an expensive counterfeit to joy in the Lord. Your heart turns once again to praying for your brother and other extended family members, desiring for them to have a sweetness and fervency in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
You are burdened when you look at people and see the constant reminder that they are facing eternity soon. “Remember how short my time is: wherefore hast thou made all men in vain?” (Psalms 89:47). There is so little time to share Christ and so many that need Him. “Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest” (John 4:35). The urgency you feel to be busy about the Lord’s business is great, and the time is short. “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalms 90:12).
Well, now that cleanup is finished, it’s time for Bible time. Everyone heads into the living room and grabs their Bibles. Tomorrow is a new day. How will the Lord direct? Even though the reality is that people don’t wear about “eternity dates,” every person does have a day they will die. May we live our lives with that in mind and not waste one opportunity to share Christ!