I ran another 4 miles today. I was a little quicker than yesterday. I finished in 30:49.8, which is an average pace of 7:42 per mile.
While I was running today I was thinking about death. That is not overly surprising since I spent the morning at a funeral service. I am not trying to be morbid, but death is what I was thinking about while I was running.
There were a couple of moments when the cars driving by were a little too close for comfort. What if one of those cars just didn’t see me -maybe they were texting or playing with the radio… and they hit me and killed me.
Then… I would enter into eternity to be with Jesus.
Don’t cry for me. I will be in a far better place.
Cry for my wife and kids. Take care of them for me, but don’t cry for me. I can’t wait to be with Jesus.
I resonate with the words of the Apostle Paul to the Philippians:
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21 ESV)
No, death is not pleasant. Death is the enemy. But being with Christ and entering into a reality that is even more real than this present reality is the longing of my heart.
I am not afraid of death.
I am afraid of never really living.
I am afraid of meeting Jesus and having nothing to show for my time spent here on earth.
Will he be impressed by my trophies? I don’t think so. Will he be impressed with how much money I was able to make? I don’t think so. Will he be impressed by my popularity? I don’t think so.
What then? What will he be looking for in me when I pass from this life to the next?
He will be looking for how I have trusted in him.
Trust requires action. Without action, trust is simply an abstract thought.
You can say that you trust a chair to hold your weight, but until you actually sit in the chair, you are not trusting it at all.
Jesus is not a trophy to be put on a shelf or thrown in a closet. Jesus is not wealth that we can work to earn more of. Jesus is not a means to status or popularity.
Jesus is a person whom we can trust completely.
And what does that trust look like?
Well, similar to the chair example, trusting Jesus requires action. We can say that we trust in Jesus, but it’s not really true until we put what he said into action.
Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the gospel (see Mark 16:15). Are we really trusting him if we are not putting this into action?
Jesus said to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that he commanded us (see Matthew 28:19-20). Are we really trusting him if we are not putting this into action?
Many of us have trusted Jesus for salvation, for eternal life. That is wonderful and important and a perfect first step. But are we trusting him for truly fruitful living today?
He is offering it today.
My heart resonates with Paul’s conundrum. Are these words true of you?
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith” (Philippians 1:21-26 ESV)