Although it came unexpected I knew that the death of both of my parents was timely. My dad was ninety-five and my mother was ninety, so they had lived long and very productive lives. But three weeks ago a peer of mine left her house on a cold Saturday morning to go for a run with a group in Piedmont Park, she felt a little funny so went to her car and called her husband and died. The doctor said she was the very picture of what a healthy woman should be. This week I connected with the son of the ginger-haired boy with the sparkling blue eyes that gave me my first kiss, he died a few months after my dad did in 2013, and then I opened my Facebook page a few minutes ago and another friend, younger than I am, someone who had posted only six hours before, had suddenly died! I have another younger friend who is at the point of death from a disease that hit her suddenly, one that has no cure and I have never heard of before!
It makes you stop and take stock of your own life. You and I are not Superman and Wonder Woman, we bleed, we hurt, we have heart attacks and accidents that take us out as young parents or older grandparents with a lot of life still left to be lived! Death is no respecter of persons. So what do we do?
There is a poem that says, “Only one life, soon will be past; only what’s done for Christ will last!” And then we say, “There is no time like the present”, now I am seeing exactly what that means!
Watching old home movies, I see a young mother opening gifts with her 9-month old baby daughter. I see young men trading fake punches and wrestling for the camera, doing all kinds of stunts that people only do when a 8mm camera, no sound, is grinding away. Beloved pets frolicking in the yard that are long gone and my parents, once so strong and vital walking and strong, before needing the aid of a helping hand or days in the hospital and drawing one final breath. All sweet memories, you are looking at them and for a moment in time you are there. Your grandparents, parents and other family members that have gone to heaven all smiling, laughing, talking and waving to the camera as if to say “Remember us this way, you will see us again one day.”
I can hit rewind over and over again, I can watch myself blow out the fire from 27 candles on my birthday cake and I remember so well the lady who made it for me, but I cannot go back to that time, what’s done is done. I just want to live every day from this day forward as if I were in front of that old 8mm camera and making memories that I want my posterity to remember, then smile and be proud that they had a mother, grandmother or auntie like me.
Today IS that rewind day and I want to make the best of it. Maybe there is something that you would like to do today that will make one of those landmark memory days! I would like to be a stabilizing force in the life of those that I know I guess that means I want to be like Jesus.
Hebrews 13:7-8 “Appreciate your pastoral leaders who gave you the Word of God. Take a good look at the way they live, and let their faithfulness instruct you, as well as their truthfulness. There should be a consistency that runs through us all. For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.”
It wasn’t too many years ago on my mother’s birthday that I took movies and pictures of her around the table, talking about the miraculous and romantic way she met and married my dad, blowing out her candles.
One thing I know is that no matter how old we get or how long time lasts, Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!” No need for a re-wind button there!
Today is the first day of the rest of your life!