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.