Facing our death will have an overwhelming influence on how we live

Boudreaux and Thibodaux were fishing at the end of a bayou. They had put up a sign that read, “The end is near. Turn yourself around.” After a while, a car came speeding along. The people in the car read the sign and shouted at Boudreaux and Thibodaux, “You bunch of religious nuts, go somewhere else with your stupid religion.”

Then suddenly Boudreaux and Thibodaux heard a big splash. They looked at each other and Boudreaux said, “You think we should put, ‘The Bridge is out’ instead?”

Most of us are more concerned about the next event in our lives – whether it’s a fishing trip, an LSU or Saints game, our next party or whatever – than we are about the end of the world. However, we should take Jesus’ words about the end of the world seriously.

We are living in the “in-between times” – between the first and second coming of Christ. We all live in time. One day, for each of us, time will be no more. Meanwhile, we have the very difficult task of living as pilgrims.

A pilgrim is one who journeys to a sacred place. As pilgrims we endure hardships, but we also travel together for support and encouragement. We need each other – men and women, young and old, peoples of different races. It’s not good to travel alone. In fact, it can be quite dangerous.

The most important aspect of being a pilgrim is that our journey will one day be over. A pilgrim is not just an eternal wanderer. At some point, the world as we know it will end or be transformed in some radical manner. Our particular journey will have its end. Death is a reality. Knowing that we will one day face death should have an overwhelming influence on our lives.

When you are teaching your children about the facts of life, do not forget the most important fact – life will end. Live with that knowledge. Denying death is a major impediment to living life as God wants us to live it. If we live our lives pretending that we have forever, we will end up doing some very foolish and perhaps even evil things.

Many anti-aging products can be found in our super market today. It is a modern version of Ponce de Leon’s attempt to discover the fountain of youth in Florida and live forever. Deep down in our hearts, we know it’s a lie.

We often use the expression, “Well, there’s always tomorrow.” That too is a lie. For thousands upon thousands of people, there will be no tomorrow. Today will be their last day. Someday, we will not be able to say, “There’s always tomorrow.” We only have a limited amount of time. We cannot do everything and be everywhere. We have choices to make and putting off some of those choices can be a big mistake.

Once we face our death, we can live life to the fullest. Look at some people with cancer. They realize how precious life is. They often change their values and ways of living and thinking. When the door of happiness closes, another opens. Often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the door that opened for us.

Go after real values. Don’t go after looks; they can deceive. Don’t go for wealth; even that fades away. Find people who can make you smile and light up your dark days. Go where you want to go; be the person God wants you to be. You have only one life. Live it well!

The happiest of people make the most of everything that comes their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. We need to let go of our past failures and heartaches. May we live in expectation of a never-ending happiness and life.

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