A tired looking seagull landed on the roof of my parent’s cottage on Tuesday morning... it was obvious he was in some distress. The kids were the first to notice the bird and we watched off and on over the next hour as the life slowly drained out of him until his head flopped over and he was dead.
Death of any kind is a sobering thing.
Jonathan Edwards, when barely 20 years old, resolved this:
“Resolution 9. Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.”
North America is a deathless culture. We have sanitized and secularized death to the point that we only need think of it for a few brief moments at a “memorial service.” But our Bibles are full of reminders of the brevity of life. Life is compared to a mist, a flowering plant, grass, a vapour – things that are here but for a moment. We fool ourselves into thinking 80 or 90 years is a long time. Just ask the resident of a nursing home how fast their life went.
Are you prepared to die?
Have you thought of how your heart will one day wear out and perhaps how you will face with some awareness the inevitable cessation of your body’s life? Have you pictured the world without you? Have you imagined what others will summarize as “your life” when they gather a few days after your expiration to remember you?
Are these morbid thoughts?
I do not think so. They are real thoughts. One day I shall die (unless the Lord returns during my life) and at that moment I will stand before the Maker of all things. Am I prepared to look upon glory?
Did that seagull wake up Tuesday morning knowing it would die? I don’t have a clue. But I do know that 10 out of 10 humans will die.
Why shrink from thinking about the inevitable?
We need more Christians that “sober up” with a good meditation on their own death – who then live with more zeal and more passion to redeem every day God blesses them with in this life.