I have noticed something over the last few years of my life. It all started with a hip replacement from a college sports injury. I’m dying. My body is failing. The doctor told me I need to get my stress under control or I’m going to keel over with a heart attack someday. I have realized that I probably, well almost certainly, have less life to live than I have already lived.
I know it’s the nature of getting old, but old is what happens to other people not me! I have been preaching at this church for 26 years and have been in ministry over 30 now. My children are grown and getting married. Yet, somehow, I’m still 30 in my mind! In my mind. In my heart, I know the reality. I know that my life is slowly ebbing away. I see it in the fact that I can think of GENERATIONS of people I have baptized or buried. Those I bury are getting closer to my age all the time.
But here is the good news to realizing you’re dying. You realize the important stuff you need to live for. Its less and less about things and more and more about people. It’s less about wanting things my way and wanting to do things God’s way. I’m understanding the passages that allude to the fact we need to die to ourselves so we can live for Christ. I begin to really focus on the things of first importance, the spiritual rather the temporary physical things in life.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the race we call life. We’re running like crazy and never see the finish line! Have you though that maybe you’re on the wrong track? You’re running the wrong race? Paul uses that analogy in 2 Timothy 4:7-8 at the end of his life. He understood which race we need to be running. He did see the finish line AND the reward for running the race. He knew he was dying and he knew the priorities that mattered the most.
I know this sounds strange, but the earlier you can realize you’re dying, the more you can start really living. I’m dying, are you?