Expiration Date

I’ve always been the kind of guy who thinks an awful lot about death. When, how, why? Many of those questions we just don’t have the answers to but if there is one thing that we can all agree on it’s this

There is an expiration date.

This world has an expiration date. It doesn’t matter what worldview you hold, which theology you ascribe to or even if you don’t believe in spiritual things at all we know for sure that this world will not last forever. The most generous observation is that we have a few billion years left but someday our sun will die out but before it does it will get much hotter than it already is and all life will be wiped out on this planet. Everything we know or have come to hold sacred will burn and be turned to ash. This world has an expiration date, we don’t know when but the clock is ticking.

We each have an expiration date as well. Someday, someway, something will get us. Heart attacks or cancer or car crashes or drowning or fire. We all place our bets each day that we are live. As much as we would like to believe otherwise sooner or later we’ll remember how mortal we are.

A friend of mine at the small church I go to had his number come up last week. On Saturday we will gather and mourn and remember and celebrate the life of who we came to know as Bill.  We’ll also be reminded that someday those that love us will gather to mourn, remember and celebrate us. Death has a way of reminding us of that, This life we live is transitory, it’s fleeting, it will end and we will reach our expiration date.

As I write this, in the last week we have lost some famous people, some believers and some not. Roger Ebert, Margaret Thatcher and Annette Funicello. All had slow illnesses that they fought over time and all of them are now gone. But beyond the headlines, every single day, are more folks like my friend Bill. People that no one knows who are saying their last goodbyes to those of us who are left behind to carry on. Waiting for our turn, waiting for when our expiration date will come up.

A younger me, when faced with this reality rebelled against it. Refused to make true connections with people and raged against the God that set things up this way. As I have gotten older, matured and have learned more about my place in God’s kingdom I see this reality as a mere signpost. A reminded to not ever take anyone, anything or any moment for granted. Because we don’t entirely know how it ends it should make us want to not hold more tightly to other transitory people, events or things but to cherish those people events and things more.

Don Miller just posted on Facebook something that really rings true.

All the recent passings remind me life is short. Doesn’t make me want to succeed, though, makes me want to get quality time with loved ones

Just something to think about today.


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