Ever since I can remember I have been trying not to die. When I approach a cliff–I always stop. Not once have I walked off the edge. When I get near a busy street–I look both ways. When I see a Gatorade look-alike container of anti-freeze–I never drink it. When I have to take a pill–I never take the whole bottle.
I don’t think I am afraid to die. It is hard to know if you aren’t facing it. But, I actually believe, despite all the blessings I have in this world, that we will not be able to compare the joys of this one to the next. Nevertheless, I don’t try to climb the fence to the grizzly bear enclosure at the zoo.
We live in this world. Whether it feels like home or not, it is where we are, and we are not supposed to try to rush out of it, or pretend that only the next world matters. As Christians, our new life doesn’t start when we die and go to heaven; It started when we first believed the Gospel message of Jesus. While we live here we are supposed to be new people, engaged in God’s work, which is loving people.
There is a reason we are here, wherever that is. Going halfway around the world to help the poor is a good thing, but today, we are where we are–for a reason. There is an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people we meet, right here. It might be hard to see at times, and hard to do, but the opportunity is there. I can’t tell you how many opportunities I have squandered, myself. Too many. But tomorrow, there will be another. I don’t want to squander that one.
This life that we are still living; We are supposed to live it for God. He is to decide how long we stay here. We are supposed to eat well and exercise to stay healthy for as long as we can in this life, not to cling to it, but to be strong enough to help others for as long as we are able. In doing so, those others may see God in us and want to know His story.