For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. [James 4:14]
While driving today, I came upon a nasty car accident. Three cars were all smashed together in the middle of an intersection. Police and fire trucks blocked most of the view but it certainly didn’t look like a simple fender bender.
I am sure none of those drivers awoke this morning anticipating such an encounter. Even more serious, what if the wreck involved fatalities? Very few people wake up thinking, “What if I died today? What if my life ended and I met my Maker this very day?”
My Dad was such a person. He lived with one foot firmly planted on heaven’s shores with the other shifting foot here on earth. Each day, he lived ready to fully shift his weight and land on the solid footing of heaven.
His last few handwritten letters to me included his sign off of either, “Listening, Dad,” “Listening for the shout, Dad,” or “Listening for the trump, Dad.” Having been to heaven as a boy, each day he lived, he longed to go back. Studying God’s Word and serving on the mission field were but ways to be “found faithful” [1 Corinthians 4:2] should the Lord return or take him home. He was ready and won the crown of righteousness [2 Timothy 4:8]. He lived with what I call “the urgency of the immediacy of Jesus.”
How would we spend that final day? I have several friends and acquaintances facing that very reality. One has tumors on an internal organ. Another has spots on her spinal cord and brain. Others are fighting cancer. One dear friend came home from dinner with her daughter, went to bed, and woke up in heaven.
Life is so precious and goes by so fast. Young and old—it can end in a split second. But if we knew we had only one day left, how would we spend those final 24 hours? Would we repair broken friendships, witness to neighbors, throw a party, or say goodbye to loved ones? What would eternity find us doing?
I pray my last day on earth involves something of eternal significance. Something of “gold silver, and precious stones” and not “wood, hay, and straw” because God’s refining fire will “test each one’s work” [1 Corinthians 3:12-13]. May my last day honor God in all I say, think, and do. Even more so, may my life reveal an ever-increasing Christlikeness [Romans 8:29].
Since we do not know when our final day will be, may we live each day as if it were the last. May we live with “the urgency of the immediacy of Jesus.”