When I was young, I was often alarmed at every visit from my late grandmother. Whenever my dad finally had her attention, she amused him with stories of every person who had died in the village; stories with names and history, house contacts and context, stories that demanded a recurrent response of shock and disbelief from my dad. It was a homecoming ritual for them. I didn’t understand it. There was an invisibility I felt as a child. About death. About how it was a distant reality. Now that I am older, surrounding by constant stories of loss, death no longer seems distant to me. I am daily reminded about the ticking sound of time. That distant notion of death and the erring warning I grew up to learn about living everyday as one’s last day have now assumed poignant clarity in my mind.
As you grow older, you realize the impermanence of life. So, the real questions hit you. How can I make my life count here while it lasts?
So today, I come with a little message for you to reflect on. Not to put pressure on you. But what exactly are you doing now that will count in eternity? Think on that for a moment.
I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. – John 9:4
The night will come. That’s a certainty.
It might come like old age with aching ankles and unstable strides. Night might come like retirement from work to some walled house, cut off from boisterous laughter and shouts, surrounded by silence rather than by people; alone, weak and with more silence. Night might come like the final curtain on life’s stage when all that remains, in the nostalgic recollections of loved ones, is the theatrical memories of shared times in the past. Night might mean the end. It might mean the coming of the Lord, the cessation of life’s cycle like we know it. That night is coming when no one can work.
While it is day, what work are you really doing as an offering and honor to Him who sent you here? The metaphor of life as the marketplace is a beautiful one. No one goes to the market with the intention to stay there forever. No one should treat our presence here as though it is an unending one. Work while it is still day because the night comes.
So, what do you think will matter at the end of the day? Will your obsession with cosmetics and social media hits matter in eternity? Your quiet vow to retaliate, to respond in unkind ways to someone’s indiscretion, how does that matter in the bigger scope of eternal relevance? The constant preoccupation with entertainment and little indulgences, how will it count for eternity? Your decision to be a lone army – having no friend, sharing no smiles, striking no conversation – how does that impact your fulfilment and satisfaction in doing the work of Him who sent you? What have you done with the gospel? What is your attitude to the poor; the distressed, orphans and widows, homeless and imprisoned? How are you laying up your treasures in heaven?
Each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. 1 Corinthians 3:13-15
You can only keep the right perspective with your continued relationship with God. I hope you go back to Him today and say, “Lord, my only desire is to be where you want me to be, to do what you want me to do. Lead me always. Help me, Lord.”