Your Life Story (As Told To God)

What happens when I dieGod’s telling a story with your life. But at the same time He’s given you free will to write that story pretty much any way you want to. So when it’s over, when you die and you stand before God, and you’re reading your life story back to Him.

What do you want Him to hear?

Can I give you my best advice? Live your life with that moment in mind.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

-Jesus Christ, Matthew 25:34-46

Follow Jesus

[Image via Felipe Morin - Creative Commons]

Life is Fatal

9/11 Prayer atop the Rogue Valley Manor in Oregon

Statistic on death: 100% of people die, including you, and including me.

At a recent retirement ceremony, my wife Kathy shared a list of annoyances with the crowd gathered there. They’re things she never knew she’d have to contend with as the wife of a firefighter:

1) At the movies, when there’s a car explosion, he will lean over and say, “That would never really happen.”

2) When asked to go for a “drive” with him, he starts scouting fire access to homes or does street familiarization.

3) After a hard shift, the words, “Let’s take a nap,” really do mean a nap.

4) Certain tones on appliance timers can get him awake and out of bed in 3 seconds flat.

5) You can come home to find he has set up a multi-casualty incident scene with your kid’s matchbox cars.

6) Terms of endearment on a text are “ETA” and “Copy.”

That was a few days ago. Today I spoke with a woman who recently lost her husband of 30 years. With tears welling up in her eyes, she told me how the little things that irritated her about her husband didn’t matter anymore. She said she’d give anything to have him back, along with those little quirks that seemed so annoying before he died.

Two men I know have little time left to live. They’re both dying of cancer. Amazingly, they both told me, if they could somehow go back in time and erase their cancer, they wouldn’t do it.

They said, before their cancer they feel they wasted most of their time on things that aren’t important. Making money, mainly. But now their focus is on anything and everything that has eternal value. Loving God and loving people, mainly.

They’re not wasting their lives any longer. They’re focused on Jesus Christ, and bearing fruit for Him — at work, in their family, with their friends, everywhere they go. (John 15:4)

We’re all going to die.

Everyone of us.

Relative to eternity, we all have very little time to live.

So live for Christ.

Give your time to Him.

Give yourself to Him.

Ephesians 5:15-16 Redeeming the time

I was scrounging around the house yesterday, looking for a highlighter when I came across this old 2 3/4″ x 4″ calendar booklet I used in 1990. I looked through some of my appointments and as I did I thought about other calendar booklets I’ve maintained: my running log calendar, and my cycling log calendar, and my tennis calendar, and my hang gliding log calendar. It struck me that I’ll be held accountable for all that time logged into all of those calendars.

Imagine with me that you’re before Christ, the moment after you die. He breaks out your calendar book, or your Google Calendar, or Outlook Calendar, or whatever, and starts to page through it.

“So, I see you watched quite a bit of TV, you played softball, you followed a few blogs… looks like you did very well at World of Warcraft…”

The realization that sinks in is that there’s no way to go back! Looking through my own 1990 calendar made me wish that I’d spent my time differently. It made me wish that I’d devoted myself more to my relationship with Christ and with the people around me — investments that last, investments that are eternal. But I can’t. 1990 is gone forever.

Life is short. I spoke with a friend today who has only a few more years to live. Even if you’re not battling a terminal disease, the fact is, life is terminal. It flies by and before you know it, you find yourself wishing you had spent your time differently.

1990 is gone forever but you and I can still live differently, from this point in time forward. I can live with Christ in mind, you can draw closer to God. We can live lives that love God better.

You can’t go back but you can go forward, making the most of every opportunity, living your life for Him.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Ephesians 5:15-16