September 15, 2014
Posted by on
I debated about using the accompanying photo for a photovotional. I know, it’s rather morbid. It represents the grief of a specific family in 1895 when they lost their child in the same year the child was born, perhaps even at birth. I promise a positive application, so hang in there with me!
I was attracted to photographing this tombstone because it reminded me of the brevity of life. Yes, this is an extreme example but even the longest of human lives is short by comparison to the passing of the ages, and even more so when you contemplate eternity. I can’t tell you the number of older folks who tell me how quickly life has gone by for them. Part of what prompts us to pause and gaze at a beautiful cut flower or a magnificent sunset is the brevity of what we’re viewing. We know it will soon pass, so we take advantage of the opportunity while we have it.
Linda Ellis wrote a poem called “The Dash” in which she describes the importance of the dash that separates our birth date from our death date. It’s a copyrighted poem and so I can’t quote it, but you can go to Linda’s web site and read it there. What I can say is that she raises the issue of how we spend our dash.
As a follower of Jesus I know I have forever to carry out His eternal purposes, but I also know that I’m given a unique and limited time during my journey here on earth to do what can only be done here and now. I don’t have all the time in the world because my time in this world is limited. Considering God’s grand plan and sovereign will I take comfort in the fact that there’s enough time, though not unlimited time, to do His will on earth as it is done in heaven.
“The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more. But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him…” (Psalm 103:15-17a)
“As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (Jesus in John 9:4)
October 20, 2011
Posted by on
Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, died recently. It’s hard to think of anyone who has had a greater technological impact on the world. News of his death spread on one of his own creations: the iPhone. People held up their iPads, another of his creations, with the image of a burning candle in his memory. He was mourned worldwide.
Jobs was a very private man, so we know little about his faith. He was raised a Lutheran; he and his wife were married by a Buddhist monk. In a 2005 Stanford University graduation speech, when he was already terminally ill, he spoke about death. He had several insightful comments — for instance, how the inevitability of death should prompt us to live well while we’re alive. Still, he said nothing about God or life with God after death.
At the end of the day, at the end of his last day, he was surrounded by a few close family members. All the technological gadgets and the billions of dollars that he was worth faded to the background. In fairness to him, he apparently never took those things too seriously. If he passed like most people pass even those gathered around him faded into the background when death was imminent. At the very end the size of our universe shrinks to our soul and God.
Jesus asks the question, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” (Mark 8:36)
April 19, 2011
Posted by on
Someone e-mailed me the following obituary. I thought it very appropriate for Holy Week. Of course, it will have to be retracted on Sunday!