My laptop is bad… I’m so sad! Now I have to wait for people to let me use theirs and hope network would be favorable when they do… I know you’re thinking ‘why won’t she just use her phone?’but a laptop is to me what I assume a quill and paper was to Shakespeare… Anyway, I found a way through this and even though my posts may be less frequent, I promise to try to make sure there’s something per week.
For now, enjoy this one by Pastor Daniel Addo! And in case you missed part one, click here
Life is so short!
I realize that this is no cordial way to begin a letter, and I’m sure you notice that this is not my usual way of beginning my letters to you. However son, I am compelled by a deep sense of urgency that has arisen from a reminder of the brevity of life. Once again son, through the means of death, I have been reminded about the transient nature of life on earth. So I say again – Life is so short!
It happened just like a dream. I sent a text message to a dear brother, who would often come on my campus to give haircuts. I messaged him to inquire when next he would be on campus. He was never one to reply text messages promptly, and even when he did, they were usually short responses. Because of this, I was so surprised when I saw that he was calling me back almost immediately after I sent him the text. As I picked the phone, I expected to hear his voice, but to my surprise, it was a woman’s voice. She identified herself as his fiancée, and then went on to tell me in a sober tone, that my barber-friend had been in an accident the previous day, and had passed on.
As you can imagine son, I was shocked. I had seen this guy only two days before this event, and he was chatty and jolly in his usual way. Son, how could I have known that this was the last time I would ever see him? How could I have known that the last haircut he gave me was the last he will ever give me? How could I ever have known?! I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Life is short! What’s more? We have no real guarantee of how long we, and those we love, will remain on this side of eternity (James 4:13-16).
Some of my dearest Christian brothers will object to that last statement, and declare me to be “weak in faith!” They would respond by saying that if we just keep confessing long life, we will live long. I can also hear some fitness coaches objecting, and their response is that if we just exercise regularly, we will live long. While I do agree that doing these things increases our chances of long life, I do not quite agree that they guarantee it. Even as believers, our certain hope is not in long life, but in eternal life – and there is a difference between the two. To put this simply, we have no guarantee how long we will really live, but we do have guarantee where we will spend eternity. This is my deep conviction based on a long time of wrestling with the scriptures on death-related issues. The believer’s victory over death is not so much that he/she lives long, but that death serves the purpose of bringing us into deeper union with Christ.
Son, am I saying you should not exercise, or pray for long life? Am I somehow saying that you should not desire to live long, or that you should just live like a victim of fate, just waiting till you die? No! Far from it! What I am hoping to awaken in you is a consciousness of the brevity of life that will cause you to live your daily life with a deep sense of purpose and urgent mission. I want to dissuade you from the illusion that you have a lot of time, so that you can make the best use of each day that God gives you on earth. I am hoping that you can have an eternal perspective of time, realizing that time is merely a preparation and foundation for eternity (1 Tim 6:19). I am hoping that you would make the best use of every opportunity you get to build solid relationships, love people, serve your generation, and make Christ famous. I am hoping that you will live for more than the next iPhone, and not just chase toys and trinkets. I am hoping that you will not live a life of perpetual postponement; always waiting till tomorrow to do the things you can so easily do today. Son, because life is short, I want you to really live! Live as God has prescribed in His word.
I want you to join in chorus with Apostle Paul and say, “For to me, living means opportunities for Christ, and dying—well, that’s better yet!” (Phil 1:21, Living Bible) Perhaps you are more familiar with this scripture in the King James translation where it says – “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I love the living bible translation because it makes Paul’s life mission so clear – “living means opportunities for Christ.” Paul shows us that life only makes sense if we are making Christ famous through the spreading of the gospel. Paul says in essence – “if I am alive, it is because I must make Christ known.” Son, in whatever profession you find yourself, let your life ultimately be about expanding the kingdom of God through the spreading of the gospel.
Of all the things that sadden me about my friend’s death, the one thing that struck me the most is the fact that I didn’t ferociously share the gospel with him. I do not know for sure that he was saved. I am in no place to judge any man, but he didn’t seem to bear Christian fruit. I often tried to engage him in talks about the gospel, but he didn’t seem interested. It had become my strategy that I will SEED him with the word overTIME. This was a strategy built upon the illusion of promised time. I thought that he would always be here to cut my hair and have conversations with me. However, he is gone.
When I first received the news of my friend’s death, in the midst of my shock, I began to pray for him. Right in that moment I heard God say, “there is a lot of hypocrisy in praying for a dead man, who you did not preach to when he was alive.” I got the point clearly. As much as we can, let us not postpone the preaching of the gospel, the loving of the brethren, the serving of humanity, and our living lives of purpose (Gal 6:10).
In the words of Jude, we must save some people through the gospel as though we are “snatching them as from the very flames of hell itself (Jude 1:23). That speaks of urgency and fervency with which we must preach the gospel, and pursue God’s mission.
I commission you to do this unapologetically my dear son.