Perhaps because I have danced with my own mortality many times, the concept of departing this life to be at home with the Lord neither scares me nor dictates how I live. I refuse to be as so many people who live with the pale of death hanging over them like a guillotine. There is nothing in this life that interests or motivates me enough to compromise my faith in Jesus Christ.
I am thankful for each day I live but this life does not determine how blessed I am or provide me with the motivation to love God. I have met so many people whose abundant life is strictly determined by how blessed they are in the physical and materialistic realms. Long ago I decided that I would rather have nothing in this life but have the freedom in my heart to totally love God, than to have oodles of “stuff” but have a cold and dead heart toward the Lord.
The very idea of being a slave to this world in order to achieve materialistic success or to gain the praise of man is anathema to me. The passion so many people manifest through their secular thinking and devotion to their jobs and hobbies nauseates me. The extent many are devoted to their dreams, ambitions or “goals” repulses me.
Whatever happened to living our lives to please the Lord? Whatever happened to praying for resources and good health in order to serve others more? Whatever happened to the willingness to give and give and give some more? Whatever happened to living for someone and something greater than oneself?
The selfishness and utter preoccupation with one’s own needs and wants has overtaken the Church just as it has overtaken the world. Long gone is the selflessness and willingness to sacrifice for the sake of others. For the most part, the Christian faith has become either a dead religion or a distant memory for millions of people who at one time truly loved the Lord.
People are so afraid of dying they have forgotten how to live. People spend a lifetime running away from the “grim reaper” only to ultimately succumb to the ravages of old age, cancer or a whole host of other diseases. Death is not to be feared but rather to be viewed as simply the end of THIS LIFE.
With each passing day, there are fewer and fewer people around who lived through World War II. With each passing day there is less and less appreciation for the unbelievable sacrifice millions of men and women made to either fight the war or deal with the war’s consequences. Few couples today could handle being separated for 2, 3 or even 4 years while their spouse fought a war in some distant land.
Each one of us will die at some point in this life unless the Lord returns first. Instead of fearing death, we should put the end of this life in the correct perspective, which is that it is impossible to enjoy the glory that awaits us until we either die or are changed at the Lord's return. In many ways, this life is nothing but a “bother” compared to the weight of glory awaiting us when it is finished.