Saturday, April 14, 2012


I've been thinking about death this week. Morbid, I know. For some reason I agreed to see the Titanic in 3D because I momentarily forgot how utterly depressing it is. Don't ask me how one forgets that, one just does. And while surrounded by a plethora of French teenagers snickering at the unconventional deaths of hundreds of people, all I could think about was the fact that people die. Whether they die in a tragic shipwreck and freeze to death while others selfishly row away or whether they die aged 102 and in their warm beds, they all die. It's a truth that I oftentimes forget about. A truth that I was still thinking about two days later when I found out about the sudden death of a friend's wife. She started having heart problems on Wednesday and by Friday she was gone, just like that. And suddenly all of the other funerals I've been to started flashing through my mind and I am once again faced with the reality that everyone dies.

Nancy was telling me about a conversation that she had with a woman in her 20's about Christianity. The woman admitted that she rarely thinks about what happens after death because she's so young, and it will be so long before she dies.

Mr. Strange Starbucks Guy refused to answer my questions about what happens after death because I apparently am always asking 'Why?' and 'What happens next?' and I shouldn't. He admitted that he was getting older, his body was starting to fail, and yet when faced with the questions of what happens when that inevitable physical failure comes, he has decided it's not important to think about.

I was reading a blog about a woman who just discovered she has breast cancer. And while there's a good chance that she'll be a survivor, she too was caused to think about the fact that someday, our bodies all fail us. The most we can hope for is a long, full life and a death that's not too terrifying or painful. No one I've ever met has stated that they think their current body will live forever.

Some day, I'm going to die too. It could be tomorrow or it could be sixty years from now, but eventually it will happen (unless Jesus comes first, which would totally be awesome). And with this reality in mind, I ask myself, what am I going to do with that knowledge? What is a life well-lived? What is the point of it all? How can I make sure that I don't waste a single second of it?

Sometimes (okay, most of the time), I feel like I'm not doing enough. I feel like I need to be a better Christian. I feel like I should be praying longer, loving harder, learning faster, and accomplishing more. It's like I have this list of '50 Things Really Great Christians Do', and when I don't meet my own expectations then I feel like a failure. Shouldn't I know more people here in France? Shouldn't I see conversions? Shouldn't I share the gospel with more people? I mean, who cares if they don't want to talk to me? I should make them listen! Right? And yet.... and yet that's not how the Christian life is designed.

Over and over again during my stay in France, God has continually brought me back to one specific lesson: be with Him. Look to Him. Follow Him.

I'm always trying to be and to do and to strive and to accomplish, and yet the facts are that it's not enough and never will be. I will never make myself a 'good Christian.' I will never deserve or earn a relationship with Him. But thankfully, wonderfully, He always brings me back to the facts. The Gospel. Him.

And so I realize, when I'm pondering death and how I can make my life enough, that really all I have to do is keep giving myself over to Him, again and again. I realize that devoting my life to anything else is completely useless, because people die, money disappears, beauty fades, fame is pointless, governments will always become corrupt, and humans will always be born as sinners.

Death is inevitable. Every ambition in life is futile. Except for Him.

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man's all.
For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil. 
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14


  1. Thanks for posting, Kelsey! I too so often find myself striving to accomplish instead of seeking to cultivate intimacy, and I can always use some good refocusing. :) I've been thinking about Ephesians 3:7-10 and John 15 quite a bit lately. Oh, to know and love Him more!

  2. I know I'm months behind...but somehow I stumbled across this today in my inbox...God knew I'd need it today. Thank you for sharing...I was challenged in some of these very things this week and reading this today was a confirmation and encouragement. Oh that Jesus would live more fully, clearly, and gloriously in and through me! Blessings to you dear sister!