5 Lord, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. 6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. 7 I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. 8 I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
This past Thursday, I read B.J.’s post and reflected on last year’s tragic plane crash and the impact it had on families, friends and our community as a whole. It is really hard to believe a whole year has passed. After our morning routine, my children and I got in the car and drove to school, just like we do every Monday – Friday. But on this day, I was reminded the ordinary, mundane routine of everyday life was a blessing I got to enjoy. Not everyone did. I thought about seven families for whom the last year was anything but ordinary as they figured out new routines and a new cadence to life without their loved ones. We paused to talk to God on our drive Thursday morning, and asked for his continued care and healing for these families. This day was going to be an extra hard one for them.
As I dropped my kids off and pulled away from the school, Chris Tomlin’s Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) came on the radio. I cried the rest of the way to work as I listened to and sang the words of verse 3 over and over again:
The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.
My small group has been studying Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God, by Francis Chan, over the past few weeks. The book, which challenges readers to engage in a passionate love relationship with God, includes a discussion about Judgment Day in Chapter 10.
Romans 14: 10, 12 – For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…each of us will give an account of himself to God.
After citing this passage, Chan challenges his readers to reflect on the following question: “How will you answer the King when He says, “What did you do with the Life I gave you?”” Ouch, that stings. How would you answer? Are you confident about your response? I’m not sure I am. Don’t get me wrong, my life isn’t void of God-honoring activities, but am I comfortable admitting I shopped on the internet for 3 hours, read a brainless spy novel, and watched more than 40 hours of basketball over the last 3 weeks? After our group studied Chapter 10 on Wednesday night, it stands to reason why I couldn’t get the lyrics, “as long as life endures” out of my head on Thursday. Jesus came so that we could have life and could have it abundantly (John 10:10). But he does not promise us how long we get to stay here. We are not guaranteed another single moment, hour or day. As such, we should be compelled to challenge ourselves with a sense of urgency – what are we doing, today, with the life God gave us?
Tomlin’s version of Amazing Grace closes with this final verse:
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine.
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
We may or may not live until the end of time when Jesus’ returns. We may or may not have our lives cut short by tragedy. What I do know for sure – we will all die at some point. What we do between now and then is our choice. Choose wisely.