And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. Hebrews 9:27-28
Years ago I had my then preschool-age granddaughter with me when I made a stop at the cemetery to deliver some flowers. My granddaughter was naturally curious about what sort of place a “sembletery” was, so I did my best to explain. As we read a few markers and headstones, I told her what the dates meant, and we figured the ages of a few of the deceased.
Then we came to one where a woman had died at 102. “Wow,” my granddaughter exclaimed, her brown eyes widening in awe, “she was ready!” Needless to say, I had a good chuckle over that. But it also gave me an opportunity to talk with Brittney about “being ready,” and about the way people will remember us once we’re gone.
Although a cemetery may not be the most cheerful place to visit, it certainly can be a setting that enables us to put things into perspective and check out our priorities. Without question a visit to the cemetery can challenge an unbeliever to reexamine the reality of and the need for God, and to “get ready” to leave this world. But what does it say to the believer? How does it challenge those of us who consider ourselves ready? How will we be remembered by those we leave behind?
As Christians, we think we’re “ready” because we know where we will go when we leave this world, and that’s a wonderful assurance. But are we living our life in such a way that says we truly believe what we say we believe? Because if we aren’t, I wonder just how well we understand our faith. If we truly believe we belong to God and are here for the sole purpose of glorifying Him and fulfilling His purpose for our lives, then that should be the focus of everything we say and do, the dividing line for all our decisions. If it isn’t, maybe it’s time for a heart check.
Someone once told me that if God isn’t first on our priority list, He will end up being last–which doesn’t say much for being “ready,” does it? May we all seek to love and serve Him today with a renewed passion, even as we anxiously listen for that glorious call to come home.