There I stood with mountains of paper on the floor. My illness and disability have caused me to sell my professional practice. Privacy and security concerns dictate that I shred my client files. I have been dreading this day. I agonize as I prepare to shred them. They represent 40 years of my life’s work. They consist of copies of insurance policies, wills, trusts, and notes on which I had recorded the goals, dreams, and aspirations of the people I served. Many of these clients have already died. My career has ended. Is there a spiritual message here? Yes, a profound one! Please read more……
The 1976 song, Fly Like An Eagle, by the Steve Miller Band contained these lyrics, “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ Into the future.” Sooner or later all people must grapple with and come to terms with the reality that time marches on. The Bible makes this quite clear. James 4:14 tells us that we, “are a puff of smoke that appears briefly and then disappears.” Psalm 103:15-16 tells us that we blossom like a flower in the field. Wind sweeps over us and we are gone.
I loved my profession and I loved serving my clients. Many of my clients became good friends. In the life insurance business, I was always preparing my clients for the inevitability of death. Now, looking back, I have witnessed the completion of many of the plans I helped to put in place.
Two business partners come to mind. I first met them in 1999. Over the years we put plans in place to both protect their business and their families. Wills and trusts were implemented. Goals and plans for retirement were mapped out. Eventually they sold their business and retired. Now, they are both deceased. I was there to help their families after they died. Now their files are being shredded. My clients…my friends…are gone.
I have countless stories I could tell. Each person was unique. Each person had hopes and aspirations. They had families and loved ones. Many are gone. My remaining clients will now receive excellent care from the firm I sold my practice to. Time has marched on for me and for my clients. Life’s circumstances are different now.
There is no pause button for life. The clock is always ticking. None of us knows what lies ahead in our future. None of us knows how much time we have left.
At a very early age, I learned the story of Adam and Eve and how, through their sin, they brought death into the world. God’s words still echo in my thoughts, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)
As a lifelong Catholic, the haunting words from Ash Wednesday as the priest would place a cross of ashes on my forehead are forever seared into my brain, “Remember man that you are dust and unto dust you shall return (Genesis 3:19).
I never shied away from sharing my faith with my clients, even though some were not Christian. It seemed like the natural and right thing to do when helping them prepare for the reality of death. Most of my deceased clients died at or near normal life expectancy. Some died young from illnesses and still others died suddenly and without warning. I hope and pray that each one who passed was ready to meet his or her creator. Shredding these files, is one, last and final goodbye.
Are you ready to die? Are your spiritual and life affairs in order? If not, there is no better time than today to act. Repent and be saved! Invite Jesus more fully into your life. Hug those you love. Tell them you love them. Write letters to those you care about.
Professionally, I helped my clients understand that they could not procrastinate forever. The same is true spiritually! Today is the day and now is the hour. It’s too late to write a will or buy life insurance after you’re dead. Likewise, it’s too late after death to finally take your faith seriously.
Death is sneaking up on us. It gets closer every day. With death comes judgement. Hebrews 9:27-28 tells us we will all die and will be judged. It also says that Christ came to bring us salvation. Daniel 12:2 tells us “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; Some to everlasting life, others to reproach and everlasting disgrace.”
As we contemplate our future we should remember Jesus’ words in Luke 12:25-26, “Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? If even the smallest things are beyond your control, why are you anxious about the rest?”
At this time in my life, God has called me into ministry. What is He calling you to? Now is the time to get right with God!
It is true, time is marching on, but as Christians we have these words of Jesus to comfort us, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
Do you believe this? I do!
Heavenly Father, I know my time here is limited. Help me to serve you in all I do each day. Keep me always in your care, until one day you bring me home to you. Amen!
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