"You could die before you finish reading this chapter. I could die while you're reading it. Today. At any moment." p. 39
That thought's a little disconcerting, isn't it? Chan goes on to talk about how some of us (most of us) take for granted the most essential elements of our existence...our kidneys, lungs, heart...and how those organs must work properly for us to continue living. But, for the purpose of today's lesson, I want to reflect on that opening sentence and what it really means for you and me.
Chan quotes Frederick Buechner, author of The Hungering Dark, who writes, "Intellectually, we all know that we are going to die, but we do not really know it in the sense that the knowledge becomes part of us. We do not really know it in the sense of living as though it were true." p. 40
For the most part, I think this is a fairly accurate statement. We all know our eventual fate. But, most of us assume that our inevitable demise will occur decades in the future. In fact, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78...so it's a rational assumption. Unless, you happen to be the the exception. Scripture says "...you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then it vanishes" James 4:13-14.
So, for me, two things jump out and grab my attention: #1. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. There is nothing to say that we will not draw our last breath today. When I think about this, I can't help but think about my father. My dad was one of those men that had absolutely no idea what it meant to 'sit around and do nothing.' I never saw him relax. If he wasn't working at the office, he was working at home. If he wasn't working at home, he was helping a neighbor. We never took vacations. (Okay, we took one vacation to Disney World when I was 4-years-old, but that was it.) You see, my father was waiting to relax. He was planning to stop and enjoy life when he retired. But, what he didn't plan on was dying three months before retirement, at the age of 54.
Which brings me to my #2. What things am I pushing off to my retirement, or until my kids grow up, or until next year...until tomorrow...that I should be doing today? Two years ago, I made a 'Bucket List.' For those of you that are unfamiliar with the list, it's a compilation of all the things you want to do before you die. I've already marked off some of the items on my list: running a marathon and writing a children's book. And some items I'm currently working on: taking our kids to Africa. But these aren't the type of things I'm referring to right now. What I'm talking about goes back to my one wish when the time comes for me to meet Jesus face to face. If I die today, can I honestly say that I expect Jesus to welcome me with the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Am I living each day of my existence...IN MY FAITH...like it could be my last? Are you?
So, today you have two assignments. First, come up with your own "Bucket List for Faith." Think of 3-5 things you want to accomplish (or maybe just attempt) in faith, for Christ. You're limited only by your imagination. I've had time to think about mine, so I'll post them in the Comments section. But, remember, these are tailor made for me...and I have a VERY bold personality. We aren't called, by faith, to follow one another. We are called to follow Christ. Spend some time in prayer about this, ask God where He wants to stretch you...then make your list! Feel free to share your list in the Comments section...or email me (I know some of you would rather do that...and that's COMPLETELY fine!) But, please, take the video I posted Friday to heart! Don't just follow Jesus in your heart...or in your head. As childish as it might seem, write down the list and put it somewhere, as a reminder to seek Him.
Second, check out the video for Chapter 2. It's really short.