Maybe it is just the aches and pains of getting older; maybe I am reaching “that” age where more friends are leaving this world than staying here; maybe it’s because several friends have died in the last few weeks, and then Billy Graham headed “Home” after 99 years. Billy quoted John Donne at Nixon’s funeral: “John Donne said that there’s a democracy about death. ‘It comes equally to us all and makes us all equal when it comes.’ ”
In any case, I am faced with my mortality and am embarrassed that it features so prominently in my thoughts. Of course we will all die, and I do not fear it any more than other believers who have preceded me. I do not look forward to becoming more forgetful, aching when I do things that used to be easy, perhaps trembling from Parkinson’s or suffering with cancer or some other terminal illness. Like my mother, I sincerely do not wish to be a burden on others, particularly my family.
But the event of death, at the moment it arrives, is not something to fear if you know Jesus, and I am comfortable that His love will guide me through those last moments, whether they come quickly like on a crashing jet or from my wife driving in snow 😉 (January 14, 2015), or slowly as in a prolonged illness.
So I need to get my mind off my mortality and onto the mortality of those around me. Like the young men I visit in the jail; like my neighbors who are even older than me; like my friends with terminal illnesses; like the young women from our church who are doing missionary work in South America for a semester before going to college; like the new pastor our church has invited to reach out to Millennials.
- So I say again, accept the fact that you will die (December 6, 2015); whether you are 12 or 92, someday your life on earth will end and for most, it will feel like it was too short.
- Then make plans for your death. Set your affairs in order so that if some idiot drives through a red light and sends you Home in a time you consider too early, your husband or wife or other family members will not have enormous difficulty sorting through your last wishes wondering what you would want done. Talk about it. Talking will not change the date nor its inevitability. (February 4, 2018)
- Most importantly, Billy Graham said, “make an appointment with God.” Remember that you are immortal (July 24, 2017). Even after you die you will continue to exist . . . and for a lot longer than you lived here. Become one of those so few for whom eternity is constantly present, where Heaven is only one breath away.
With Billy Graham I can say about death, “I’ll be happy the day the Lord says, ‘Come on. I’ve got something better planned.’ ”