No…no…there is NOT always tomorrow
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
Yesterday was a hard day. Now, as I write about this, I hope everybody will take what I am about to say in the way I am trying to say it. While I appreciate any kind thoughts and prayers that come, I am not looking for those as I write these words. I am, as I do, trying to teach lessons that might be useful to us all.
Some may recall that, a few weeks ago, my mother had an episode that was rather strange and concerned us quite a bit. She had had, over about 10 years a few seizure episodes and this was another one; this one was pretty serious as it ended with her 40 miles from home in her car, and in a ditch. As a result, she had decided to get an apartment in a retirement community and not drive anymore. Things seemed well, and at 80 she seemed quite robust and healthy. The women in her family live for a long, long time(her mom was 105), so it seemed she would last longer than some of us.
Well, that was not to be, as basically yesterday Mom just fell out and died outside her apartment on the way to get her hair done. Of course, there were things added after, such as EMTs, ambulance transport, ventilators, and decisions nobody wants to make, but she was essentially dead when she hit the floor.
Things over the years with us had been……strained. I won’t share details, but we had enough dysfunction and baggage in our family for a small community. Our family as it exists today in my own circle is a mix of steps, halfs and exes that I really can’t keep track of. We are a blended family on steroids.
4 weeks ago things changed. Mom woke up one day who she always was, and ended with her needing help. Nothing like a little brokenness to change a landscape eh? But, that’s another Gospel…er…story. My point is, things were changing. In just a moment we went from strained..to straining. Straining to actually put back together some things that used to be before life jacked them all around.
Yesterday was a hard day. Today is a harder one; however, that’s not why I am here. Everybody knows I am a practical type of guy, and that everything can be a lesson. There are lessons here, which I have had driven into my mind and really want to share with you all.
You won’t be here forever; you might not even be here tomorrow. That is true for the ones you love as well. Even if you live to be 105, your tomorrows will end eventually. Look in the newspaper; look in your own life. People die: disease, accident, violence, and a thousand other ways. Do you know that this morning, when that loved on walks out of the door, that they will ever walk back in? If it’s you walking out, how do you know you will ever walk back in?
I don’t mean to sound depressing, but I speak truth here, and it is a truth that could strike any of us, at any time. Has anyone ever heard the following said about a person’s death?
Oh, it was so unexpected!
It was so sudden!
Do your loved ones know Jesus? Christians, this is for you. Allow me to be direct. If you are a Christian, then you understand clearly that we all exist eternally somewhere. We will either live forever with God in Heaven, or eternally separated from Him. If you know that, and understand it, how can you NOT share Jesus with your lost loved ones? I would put out for your consideration that, if you don’t have a burden for the souls of loved ones, then you should be concerned about yourself
Is it hard to witness to loved ones? Oh, yeah. It’s probably easier to tell a stranger on the street about Jesus than a relative. My mother and I had talked a lot over the course of 7 or 8 years about her relationship with the Lord, and it had not always gone easy. You see, although my mother professed to be Christian, she never once took me to church or even talked about God with me. Once I was saved, I found this very concerning.
Will loved ones sometimes resist talking just because it’s you? Yeah, they sure will. Are you the only person on the planet who can speak to a loved one? No, you are not. Since we struggled talking about this, my Mom and I, I called on others to help me. One of my favorite cousins, and her favorite nephew, spoke with her often. When she moved into her new apartment, one of the managers of her complex was able to spend some time talking with her? If anybody has ever read this post, My Fight with God, they will remember Bob. If you don’t, read that post or this won’t make sense. When my mother moved out of her house, the people managing her new home were none other than Bob, and his wife Marge. Tell me that’s not God’s providence; I dare you.
Marge did spend some time talking to my mom, and her nephew did as well. They assure me that, although of course we can’t know any person’s heart, that my mother either had or came to have a saving relationship with Jesus before she left this earth. She is likely there now waiting for me. I have written some about my family and God in these posts:
If you have divisions among you, NOW is the time to fix them. If you have ever heard something like this at a funeral, raise your cyber hand:
I sure wish we had been talking to each other when they died
I meant to go see them, but…..
I should have said I’m sorry before they died
Is that the memory we want? If it is, then allow the wounds to fester and the visits to go undone. It that is NOT the memory we want? Fix it. Fix it now. Even if you are the one who was hurt, and you would say that at THEIR funeral, fix it now. Be the big person and call them, text them, write them, or Facebook them. Make it right.
Families have divisions. That’s reality, is it not? I called a cousin to let her know about my Mom. She burst in to tears over hearing from me, because she thought I hated her. Why? Well, because she and my Mom were at odds. During my cousin calling two other said odd things. Both said, “I would love to see so and so, but so and so hates me.” About each other. They didn’t know the truth, because nobody stepped up and made a move. So, I did. I called each of the so and sos back, and told them the other so and so loved them, and provided phone numbers. Then said I would follow up later. My wife said I was acting like Dr. Phil yesterday.
Do you miss them? Call them or go see them.
Have you hurt them? Tell them you are sorry.
Have they hurt you? Suck it up and call them anyway.
I want to close this on an upbeat note, lest readers thing this is a sad post. Not only am I pretty assured that someday my Mom will greet me in Heaven, but our last few times together had been totally without even the slightest bit of strife or conflict, but was merely an aging mother and son hanging out and enjoying each others company.
Finally, one of my favorite songs, and a thing we should all remember as we head through this life, with it’s uncertainties and uncertain end.