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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Denying death is a major impediment to living life as God wants us to live

Denying death is a major impediment to living life as God wants us to live

A woman was hurrying home from work because it was her bingo night. Suddenly, she spotted this fellow standing on the edge of the pavement holding a sign that read: “The end of the world is near.”

She went up to him and said, “You say ‘the end of the world is near?’”
“That’s right, ma’am,” he replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Quite sure, ma’am.”
“How near?”
“Oh, very near.”
“Could you be more precise?”
“This very night, ma’am.”

She paused and reflected a moment. Then in a voice full of anxiety, she asked, “Tell me, young man, will it be before or after bingo?”

This story says a lot. Most of us are more concerned about the next event in our lives – whether it’s bingo, an LSU or Saints game, our next party or whatever – than we are about the end of the world coming. How can I convince you that we should take Jesus’ words about the end of the world seriously?

We are living in the “in-between times” – between the first and second coming of Christ. We all live in time. One day, for each of us, time will be no more. Meanwhile, we have the very difficult task of living as pilgrims.

A pilgrim is one who is on a journey to a sacred place. As pilgrims we endure hardships, but we also travel together for support and encouragement. We need each other – men and women needing each other, young and old needing each other, peoples of different races needing each other. It is not good to travel alone. In fact, it can be quite dangerous.

The most important aspect of being a pilgrim is that our journey will one day be over. A pilgrim is not just an eternal wanderer who never stops moving. At some point, the world as we know it will end or be transformed in some radical manner. At some point, our particular journey will have its end. Death is a reality. Knowing that each of us will one day face death should have an overwhelming influence on our lives.

When you are teaching your children about the facts of life, do not forget the most important fact – life will end. Live with that knowledge. Denying death is a major impediment to living life as God wants us to live it. If we live our lives pretending that we have forever, we will end up doing some very foolish and perhaps evil things.

When we do not face our deaths, we live in an unreal world. We use the expression, “Well, there’s always tomorrow.” That’s a lie. For thousands upon thousands of people, there will not be a tomorrow. Today will be their last day. Someday, we will not be able to say, “There’s always tomorrow.”

Once we face our death, we can live life to the fullest. Look at some people with cancer. They realize how precious life is. They often change their values and ways of living and thinking. When the door of happiness closes, another opens. Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one opened for us.

Go after real values. Don’t go after looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Find someone who can make you smile and light up your dark days. Dream what you want to dream; go where you want to go; be the person God wants you to be. You have only one life. Live it well!

The happiest of people do not necessarily have the best of everything. They make the most of everything that comes along their way. May we have the great grace of living in expectation of never-ending happiness and life.