And Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection
and the life. The one who believes in Me,
even if he dies, will live. Everyone who lives
and believes in Me will never die—ever. Do
you believe this?” John 11:25-26 NIV
Throughout Scripture we find assurance that accepting Christ as Savior means that our soul will never die. In 2 Corinthians 5:8 the Apostle Paul writes that “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” In John 11:25-26 we find certainty from Christ that belief in Him brings eternal life. Psalm 90:10 delivers the length of our earthly years as seventy to eighty. Life is short.
I often think about how time spreads its wings and flies across the decades. Days speed by into weeks and then months and what seems like a few months turns into a year or two. Sometimes we lose touch with those we love because of the way we move from place to place in our modern mobile society. The “tyranny of the urgent” lifestyle often supersedes that which we would really like to do.
Years ago I enjoyed a beautiful and special relationship with a lovely godly woman—our pastor’s wife. Dorothy and I worked in the same town and once a week we would meet at Braums to share lunch and a time of prayer for our husbands and children. We prayed them through school issues, relationship issues and life in general issues. I valued our friendship, cherished our love, and learned much about grace from our time together.
One night Dorothy went to bed seemingly healthy, but the next morning she awoke unable to move from her neck down. Months of testing brought an ill-defined diagnosis of one of the Muscular Dystrophy diseases. As she began regaining some strength, those who loved her had the joy of sharing time with her by taking her to physical therapy. I remember holding back my tears as I lifted her wheelchair into the trunk of my car. I wanted to be an encouragement to her, but it was always the other way around. She was the encourager, the sunshine in the room, the bright light in the midst of darkness.
Eventually, we moved out of state. I sent cards, not as many as I should have. I called, not as often as I should have. I grieved, more than I should have. I still have her last phone call to me on my answering machine. By the time we moved back to Texas and I went to visit, it was too late. She had passed away shortly after our Texas move, and no one could reach us. I was broken hearted and angry at myself for letting life get in the way of living.
I console myself in the knowing that eternity is just around the corner, and we will have long ages to laugh and talk and worship our Lord together. Sometimes, when I am once again letting the “tyranny of the urgent” infiltrate my life, I think about Dorothy. I remind myself that the people in my life deserve my love and care and attention more than the “things” of life that scream out in anxiety to be first.
The urgent is ever present. It is the meat and potatoes of life, but taking the time to play with our children or grand children and to love our husbands and wives and to laugh with friends and loved ones…that is the dessert.
If you are overwhelmed with life today, if the “tyranny of the urgent” has your stomach tied up in knots, if there are people with whom you really want to spend time, don’t put it off until it is too late and you have regrets about what you should have done. Make that phone call, send that card or write that letter… Life is short—eat dessert first!
© JP 2013