Brevity of life

He prayed for wisdom.
I stood by his bed, elevated four feet from the floor by sturdy solid wooden beams,
and listened to him petition God for wisdom.
As I would navigate my way across the room after the light was turned out, my feet felt the familiar jab of sharp corners from tiny plastic blocks of red, white and gray that covered his floor…..  Legos strewn in a six foot circle in the middle of his floor. There was no way out without  somehow being pierced. The circle was wide and there were always strays.

The earliest I remember him praying this prayer,
he was around eight.

I still remember his prayer.  We had been talking about Solomon.  He asked God for wisdom. I wondered how he knew to ask for it. Had he heard me ask for wisdom in front of those impressionable ears? Probably not. But, he knew it was desirable.

And that has been his constant prayer as long as I can remember.

And God is faithful.

This man is wise beyond his years.  He is slow to anger. He thinks things through.  He considers his options.  He is aware of outcome.  He weighs his actions.  He puts others first.  He chooses his words very carefully.  He is a man of his word.  I know that I can trust him.  If he says it, it is the truth.  No need to probe further …. dig deeper.  There is no need to ask, “Do you promise?” If he speaks it, it is true.

But, of all of his character qualities, the one that moves me most is that he cares for the eternal soul.

There was a time when I once fretted over how often we had moved.  Through the years, we moved time and again.  I often felt like I was dragging the children by the hair from one home to another.  It always took me two months to pack and two or three months to unpack and feel settled.  It was difficult and often felt …. unnecessary.  But, I remember when I realized that five different young men had come to know Christ through my son’s witnessing to them – each in a different home along the way.  That realization was a reminder that God uses our messes for His good.

This past week, one of James’ co-workers had a wreck and was killed. Keith had been working there for about three weeks. When James came home from his first day at work after the wreck, I asked him about his day.  How was it? Was it hard? How are people dealing with the loss?

James, with peace, began to tell me how he knew that Keith was saved.

I stood there beside this man

and was humbled.

Keith started working only three weeks before James.  They had known each other no more than two months, but my son had already made it a point to probe the state of his soul. He had already asked if God was part of his life. He had already wondered out loud if Keith was assured of heaven.

This event …. this death ….. has made an impact on James’ life.  He said that he is even more aware of the brevity of life and how we cannot count on tomorrow. We only have today …. and not even today – truly only the moment.

Oh, that I might live my life with this imminence in mind.

Oh, that I might not need to personally experience the death of a loved one to feel a piercing jab that would move me to reach out more often to those around me….
to love with abandon ….
to give selflessly …..
to ask deep questions that make people think …..
to be interested and take the time
to make a difference.

Oh, that the death of a co-worker
and the courage of my son
would move me to look for chances
to ask others about eternity
and today.


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