“So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6, ESV)
Have you ever been seated by the window on an airplane and watched the baggage handlers … treating every suitcase, box, tube, etc. with anything but genuine care?
I can remember with great clarity the day a professional unable to carry on board a tube with some sort of plans, sketches, watched from the row in front of me as his tube, tossed onto the loading mat lost its cap, and the blowing winds carried its contents away, across the tarmac and beyond.
He became frantic … started yelling, heading off of the plane as others were trying to board. He made it off, never came back to board the plane! I truly felt sorry for him. The whole reason for his trip was lost!
It is in this same way, that sadness and urgency is felt in the heart of one who loves and serves the Lord … wants to go to Heaven when he/she dies … who sees others … even family … with little or no concern about eternity!
So how do you feel about the appointed time for you to leave this world and enter into the next? How’s that for an opening question?
I’ve said it myself, and we’ve all heard others observe, “I know one day … will be my last!” And guess what … that’s exactly right!
Don’t stop reading now … we all have a very real need to give some serious thought to these things!
We are all aware whether we want to admit it, talk about it, or even think about it … life at best is fragile. And unlike the passenger on the plane whose tube was not treated with care, we must be careful with our lives and not allow them to be tossed away without making them count!
It never ceases to amaze me just how devious, deceptive, and persistent our adversary, the devil is! It probably shouldn’t … we can read of incident after incident in the Bible describing his evil ways.
The people of Noah’s day … didn’t accept the warning … didn’t heed the preaching … didn’t believe that what God said would in fact happen!
Now … in the closing days of 2021 … it is our turn to be mindful of the message from the Lord that our lives are “but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14)
Our life on earth is so short that one translation of the Bible even likens our life to “the morning fog that is here a little while, and then it’s gone.” (NLT)
I’m quite sure someone is reading this post and thinking … oh, Bill, I know all of this is probably true … or even saying, “I know it’s true!” But so many of us are guilty of the “Scarlet Syndrome” … we’ll worry about that tomorrow! I get it!
We love our families … our friends … our brethren … we love our various relationships. A young couple with babies in their arms … young parents teaching their children as they grow up right before our eyes … it can be understood how difficult it might be to be reflecting on death … meeting the Lord … and eternity.
To view life for what it is … a time to enjoy God’s abounding blessings and to be in preparation for a future eternal life with Him … is the proper way to keep things in perspective!
But Heaven … that’s a whole new world awaiting the faithful!
For many, it is not a matter of not wanting to go to Heaven … it becomes a matter of just not right now!
Whether our life ends by accident, by force, by illness, or by natural causes – one of these days will indeed be our last, and it is impossible to avoid! Surely, this reality that we all face should cause us to be “awake and sober” (1 Thessalonians 5:6) in the way we spend our time, in the things we say and do.
Imagine discovering that today was the last day of your life on earth.
- What would be moved to the top of your priority list?
- Would there be a phone call you would need to make?
- Would there be someone you would need to see in person?
- And if so, what would you say?
- Is there something left undone needing to be done?
Our heavenly Father never wanted us to get comfortable here because He knows our real happiness is found in our forever home with Him. This is why He “placed eternity in our hearts” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). There is a place in each of our hearts that can only be filled with the things of God!
The fact is, we have always been just passing through this world. As we strive to be as effective as possible in our short lives, perhaps it is a healthy task for every believer to ask themselves the question … If today were to be “the day” … the day when our life comes to an end on this earth, the day we knew would come … the day we would finally be right about it … would we be ready?
Bill Fairchild, Jr.