From the responses I have heard from last week’s “From The Rev” it sounds like I’m not the only one doing a lot of weeding. And not just weeds in our gardens but weeds in our lives. It’s important to do that kind of weeding on a regular basis so the weeds don’t choke out the good things of life.
I’m at that stage in life when part of my daily reading of the newspapers…after the front page and the comics…I always look through the obituaries to make sure my name isn’t there. I see a lot of folks who are my age and younger and the inevitable thought comes: “That could be me.” That is what death does for those of us left behind. Yes, death shocks, saddens, steals, and rearranges life, and yet death can also wake us up to the truth that we all have an expiration date, a moment when we will cease to be, at least on this side of existence.
The gift of death, if such a thing can even be fathomed, is that it reminds us of all the wonderful gifts of life: our hearts beating for another day; the sun warming us for another day; our family and friends loving us for another day; our Creator calling us to live and love this precious life for another day.
The reality of death challenges us to live this God-given life well, very well.
So how’s it going for you this day? What is your life’s meaning and purpose, its quality and depth? What will be your legacy when you leave this world? What positive difference are you making?
Perhaps you remember Emily, the main character in Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, a young woman who dies suddenly. She is allowed to go back and witness the day of her twelfth birthday. When she returns she asks the poignant question: “O earth, you’re too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it? Every, every minute?”
To realize life every minute. When I find myself in the weeds of life, when I get caught up in all the drama of day to day life and get stuck in the “poor me” cycle, this what my faith reminds me: to realize the wonder and beauty of life every minute. This is the lesson of death, isn’t it? To try and live so fully that when we die, we will have no regrets; to love so deeply, we will have given all our love away; to give ourselves to others so fully, we can leave knowing we have made a positive difference; to live for something bigger than ourselves that when we exit, those who have known us will be better people.
Death reminds us just how wonderful and amazing life can be when we live it to the fullest. Just one life, that’s all God gives us. Do we realize this gift every, every minute?
You are loved,