“All of my life I have dreamed of living well.” This may be a quote from someone famous, but I first heard this quote when preparing for the funeral of a friend and former church attender. He was a young man, 32. He had been married for 4½ years. He had a child who was about a year old, give or take a couple months. He was a young man who was polite, respectful and full of life. He never met a stranger. His life was cut short by a horrible accident. One morning he was making plans with his family and then, by evening, he was dead.
As I sat with the family, they showed me where he wrote this quote. Whether the quote was his or from someone else, it has caused me to really think during this past week. When he visited our area and attended church, I preached, trying to get folks to really think about their relationship with God. This week, this quote has caused me to think. I have thought, not just about my relationship with God, but about my relationship with others around me. Friends and family. Co-workers and neighbors. We see them as we come and go, but we rarely know what is taking place in their lives.
Two passages of scripture have popped into my mind this week given what has taken place. The first one is from James 4:14. “You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (NIV) The second is from John 10:10. “I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV)
The first passage from James tells us long life is not promised. The length of years is but a number. Some numbers are larger than others. Some have lives that go into their 80s, 90s and maybe even into the century mark. Others, like my friend, are in the 30s. There are a lot who are younger than that. God doesn’t want us to put an emphasis on a number. We are here, when you think about it, but only a short while. For the Christian, this is not our actual home. Our real home is in heaven, with God. As I am sure you have heard people say, “we are just passing through.”
The second passage tells us what we are to do with the number of years we are allowed to live on this earth. We are to live life, and live it to the full. The King James Version says “abundantly”. However we want to say it, we are to live our lives on this earth in a way that pleases God and we are to enjoy life, within the guidelines He has given to us. But how? We can treat people the right way; smile and be encouraging; lift up and not tear down; love and not hate. Life is short. Days go by quickly. We need to take advantage of the time we have been given. Let us not leave this earth without doing what my friend said, “live well”. It doesn’t have to be a dream. It can indeed be a reality. Until next week.
Peace and Blessings, Johnny