Thursday, September 1, 2011

Living as if death is imminent...because it is!

The laying aside of my earthly dwelling is imminent

(2 Peter 1:14, NASB).

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines imminent as “ready to take place; especially: hanging threateningly over one’s head.” Quite obviously the Apostle Peter, when he penned the words above, recognized that he could die at any moment.

Why, then, don’t we realize the same thing? We may say we are aware of that truth, but if we really were, I think we might live differently.

Eight months ago I moved my mother into a retirement/assisted living facility where caregivers were available to help her with things that I normally took care of but was often unable to do, especially when I traveled. In an effort to help her make the adjustment, I had business cards made up with her new address and phone number on them so she could pass them out to friends and acquaintances. Because they were designed as business cards, I felt I should put some sort of “tag line” on them, so I chose “waiting for the call to come home.”

It seemed appropriate at the time, particularly since Mom was nearly 90 years old and not in very good health. Yet, when I look at the card now, I think, “Why didn’t I realize how prophetic that was?”

The thought was reinforced yesterday when a column I wrote in June was posted in an online publication on August 31. I’d forgotten I’d written it until it popped up on my Google Alerts, so I clicked on the link to refresh my memory. There it was, an article about my mom, written in the present tense. Now, two months later, I was speaking of her in past tense.

Whether we are nine or 90, we need to live as the Apostle Peter, with the recognition that the “laying aside of [our] earthly dwelling is imminent”—“ready to take place,” even “hanging threateningly over [our] head.” Because Peter understood that, he devoted the last of his earthly energy and time to calling sinners to repentance and saints to a deeper commitment. Time is short, beloved. I don’t want to waste what little is left. How about you?

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