LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

Life is Short

Last summer I was working in the backyard with Hunter (who was 13-years old at the time). He was two feet away from me, and while I was looking straight at him his eyes rolled back in his head and he dropped over unconscious. I still get teary when I think about how I felt right at that moment--or in the seconds (that felt like hours) until he regained consciousness and was able to get hydrated. Two weeks ago, I got a call from my sister telling me my mom was on her way to the hospital. She had lost her memory, and for awhile couldn't figure out what year it was or who was president. I feared the worst and rushed to Detroit to see her. After two days in the hospital and a battery of tests, her condition was diagnosed to be a one-time incident with little chance of returning and no long-term damage.

This morning, I had just left my house on my way to the office. A girl shot out in front of me from a side street on her bicycle. I slammed on my brakes and slid sideways while listening to her scream. I thought she was going to be dead. In that moment I had random thoughts: Why is she wearing headphones? Man, these brakes are good. Whose daughter did I just kill? I'm glad I wasn't texting or on the phone. As I came to a stop, she was literally against my front hood. But she stayed on her bike, and came around to apologize profusely. I'm guessing her heart was beating faster than mine, if that's possible.

Life is so short. I've been thinking a lot about James 4:14-15:

You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, "If the Master wills it and we're still alive, we'll do this or that."

I've been reminded in the past two weeks by Mark Beeson and DC Curry in their messages that nothing lasts forever. Everything has a season. The time with my family won't always be the way it is. My time with my wife is limited. Every minute I have with my team is precious--because it will someday end.

What choices am I making with my time and my relationships, so that I'll have a feeling of contentment at the end? So when I lay a loved person in the grave, I'll know that I poured everything I could into my time with them? That's what I'm reflecting on today. And as I get ready for a week of Life Planning, the relationships that are closest to me are on my mind.