In the days before helmets were invented, when one did something risky, they understood that the responsibility for their safety rested solely with them. It’s not like that anymore. Now, we have safety gear that may be worn when we do things that involve possible injury to our heads, shoulders, arms, knees, or faces. And in many parts of the country, while performing risky maneuvers, one is required to wear safety gear, ie: a helmet. So why was Natasha Richardson not wearing a helmet on the ski slopes in Canada last week? Could it be that vanity played a part in her decision to go on the slopes without that protection, pushing her to refuse such accouterments, in favor of that sleek, sexy hollywood look? Or was it that she thought sking on the beginners course was so amateurish that a helmet was not necessary? Whatever her reasons for doing it, going out on the slopes without a helmet was the wrong decision for her, and she paid for it with her life.
Listening to the news casts about Natasha has me thinking about the brevity of life and how quickly a candle can be snuffed out in our world. Though a friend of mine will labor long and hard to bring a life into the world today, it only takes a moment in time to usher one out. All the more reason for us to be mindful of where we will spend eternity, don’t you think?
Yesterday, I had a rather disagreeable discussion with a non-believer about God in school, songs that include Christian lyrics and/or mentions of God’s name, and “the false happiness of those who call themselves optimists” (I can only assume she was referring to all of those “naive” Christians). I say it was a disagreeable discussion because I found it so off putting, when in fact it was a series of words that came from a hurting person who happens to suffers with chronic pain and at that particular moment couldn’t find a way to hide what she really feels inside. Pain has a way of revealing truth, sometimes when we least expect it.
Yesterday, I smiled and listened, said very little and mostly waited for her storm to subside. I took this approach to the situation, mainly because I know she is in chronic pain and chronic pain drives people to say things they would never say in better times. I also took this position because at this point in my life I want to be winsome more than I want to be right.
Having said that, I also feel very strongly that we need all be mindful of the fact that today could be our last day. If it is, are you ready for what lies beyond?
Forget about what you’ve heard or thought about eternity and God and religion in the past. Today, focus on what you’re missing out on by not knowing Jesus. I can tell you that there is a river of joy out there that you have yet to explore, yet to dip your piggy toe into. A rushing, gurgling, bubbling, cold, invigorating, beautiful and life giving river of joy, and you’re not seeing it, because you’re not seeing Jesus-not as He really is.
As proof of this life changing truth, I offer me-a gal who used to shove and push her way through life, hurrying to who-knows-what, in her ever exhausting search for significance. I don’t do that anymore and I am so thankful to God for what he’s done in my life to get me off that frantic path. Today, I can enjoy His will, as well as His way in my life, and I can find peace, serenity, wisdom and courage on a daily basis.
Eternity beckons us all, and in some cases, it arrives unexpectedly. I wish Natasha Richardson’s husband, sons, mother and other family members comfort over the next few days. Losing someone so quickly, so unexpectedly, it’s hard to take. Losing them for eternity, however, is a tragedy that doesn’t have to happen. Don’t let it happen to you.
“Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you on him while he is near…” Isaiah 55:6