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Thursday, May 15

Life is Fleeting

In the last month, it has again become painfully obvious to me that life is fleeting. This has struck me many times before, but death and destruction have seemed to become more commonplace this month. There have been two horrific natural disasters, a cyclone in Myanmar and an earthquake in China that will have claimed tens of thousands of lives in both countries. In the greater Phoenix area, there have been several auto accidents involving teens, resulting in a few deaths and over fifteen injured. And last night I said goodbye to a friend who went home to be with the Lord a mere five days after he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Life is indeed fleeting.

I’ve joined much of the rest of the world in watching the horrendous catastrophe that is playing out in Myanmar and China. These two separate natural disasters came suddenly, without warning. Homes, buildings and businesses are destroyed. Crops are completly wiped out. Entire villages, towns and cities are pulverized. The loss of life is staggering. Sadly, it is not over. As time goes on, lack of medical supplies, food and clean water, and time itself along with the ever-growing cases of disease threaten to kill far more than the disasters themselves. It truly is a calamity of epic proportion. *

Closer to home are the teen driving accidents that have resulted in both death and injury. All of these recent incidents could have been avoided. Speeding, drugs or alcohol and just plain old goofing off have contributed to all of these awful and life altering or life taking mishaps. One of the accidents involved some boys that were my neighbors. There were four boys in the car. Speed was a factor in the single vehicle crash. Only one of the boys was wearing a seatbelt. The sixteen-year-old driver and his fifteen-year-old brother live just three houses away from me. The younger brother died. The older brother was in a coma for a time and is now recovering from his multiple severe head and body injuries. The other two boys were badly hurt as well. Somehow these tragic accidents seem to be all the worse because they were completely avoidable. **

The service we attended last night was to honor the memory of a good man, who barely had time to say goodbye to his family and friends. It was a time to remember and celebrate the life he lived, while reflecting sadly that he left us way to soon. Hearing the great things people said about him, it was evident that his life touched and influenced many others. He was a warm and kind man, faithful, dedicated, hard working and loyal, with a great big smile. It was said, that he was not angry with God for taking him so soon, but rather he saw his death as having purpose and meaning. Though he did not want to leave his family, he knew he was going home to be with the Lord. And that gave him peace. ***

Life is fleeting. None of us know when our time here on this earth will be finished. So if we don’t know when our life will end, shouldn’t we try to live each day as though it were our last? We should tell those we love that we love them. We should try to mend damaged relationships. We should hug those we care for. We should notice the beauty around us. We should laugh. And cry. And forgive. The list could go on and on, but I think it simply comes down to this; we should really live our lives. Jeff and I once taught a class at church, and we had people write down what they wanted to be said about them at their eulogy. Then we told them to look at it and live that way, on purpose.

There’s a lot we should do to be prepared for when death finds us. The most important of which is to be ready to meet our Lord. He loves us and will meet us wherever we are, but we have to come to him and ask him to forgive us before death takes away that chance. I’ve heard a saying before, that there are no atheists in foxholes. Since most of us will never find ourselves in a foxhole, we shouldn’t let another moment pass us by without making things right with God. Whenever it is that our life here is done, we have the opportunity to spend eternity with Jesus in heaven, if we take it. Yes, life is fleeting, but eternity lasts forever. How, or where, we spend it is up to us.

* “Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.” ~ Ecc. 9:12

** “Death has climbed in through our windows and has entered our fortresses; it has cut off the children from the streets and the young men from the public squares.” ~ Jer. 9:21

*** “So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him. For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body.” ~ 2 Cor. 5:6-10


king's kid said...

Hi there,
I loved your piece. So sad about the awful accidents. Strange to say we have experienced the exact same thing in our little part of the world. Young man killed by a drunken driver, who is still in intensive care 2 weeks later. Another young girl in Intensive care due to a thoughtless idiot driving like a maniac.
With all the tragedies happening in this world one cannot help but wonder how much longer it will go on.
Even late this afternoon my daughter and I walked along the river front, and people were drinking and carrying on. These same people have to get into their cars and drive home!
I love the look of your blog. Lovely.

Patty Wysong said...

Hi Tracy! Your site looks GREAT!! and what a good blog! It' so good for us to remember all that, and to live as we should and really want to--on purpose. What a good reminder!!

Josh said...

You got me thinking about what I would want said at my eulogy. It would be something along these lines:

Josh was a guy who devoted his life to serving God. There was never a time when he didn't want to tell people about Jesus, either verbally or in writing.

Josh was a kind man who did his best to show love to other people. He made it a point to put a smile on the face of every person he came in contact with...

I could go on, but I don't want to hog your comment area with my eulogy thoughts. I just wanted you to know that your posting got me thinking about the kind of life I want to live. Now is the time, because there may not be a tomorrow here on Earth. I want to reach Heaven knowing that I fulfilled the purpose and plan laid out for me by God.

Liara Covert said...

I enjoy the comments on this post.
You can also decide to believe life is everlasting (as opposed to fleeting). Since impermanence is one of the few constants of this perceived existence, every effect has its cause and every cause has its effect. To place yourself in connection with higher aspects of your nature, you become more attuned to why events manifest. You become more aware of how you think and feel and how these are the core reasons for your life experiences. You may believe you decide on your life purpose or direction at different phases of your life. You change when ready and also leave when ready.