Life is a fleeting gift like a bouquet of roses, sweet smelling, blooming with vibrancy for a short time, yet gone with the wink of an eye. I learned this life-lesson at the age of fourteen after having a near-death experience with asthma. I saw life pass me by again at the age of twenty-two when my young husband died of melanoma. Many never learn the fragility of life. It pierced me again when I gave up a little boy for adoption and again when my daughter had her first diagnosis of melanoma. Life rolled over me when my young nephew died of an overdose, leaving behind a two-year old. Emptiness and despair cradled me after two divorces…the death of relationships and love, the waste of years and tears. Most see the gift disappear when the reality of losing a parent strikes. That precious gift gets unwrapped and enjoyed for such a short time. Friends go on to their heavenly rewards. Your first high school romance leaves the earth behind. Homes are dismantled and packed up. Precious relics of the past are sold or given away. Memories become your best friends. You buy your last car. You make your will. You wonder where the time went. Life slows to a card game or a movie on TV. When it’s bedtime, you recall your childhood prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep; if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
At seventy, life has been played. I have my eyes on things above. Eternity is the gift that Christ has given me. It will never die or wilt away. Joy will be forevermore. My family and friends I’ll see once more, and I’ll stroll the streets of gold with saints of old.
Make sure you have used your gift wisely and lovingly, but the best is yet to come. I pray you are ready and sure your name is in the book of life.