“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
Received a text on Sunday morning… from a dear precious girl that I mentor, Katlyn, with the “tragic…very tragic news” of the death of a precious fellow…a dearly LOVED golfer, Jackson Moore, whom many people, including the Bradshaws, look to as family. Jackson died in a tragic car accident…..on Sunday morning.
The stabbing pain…for Polly, Richard and Caulder….takes my breath….alive one minute and gone the next. A posting just hours earlier of his beloved dog on his Facebook wall……life is a “mist”…a “vapor”…..fragile…Jackson’s tragic and sudden death reminding me…. that this life is not a dress rehearsal.
Life is now…
……every moment of every day……
Shortly before the text on Sunday morning that changed the trajectory of my day and weeks ahead, I had just watched a sermon online given by one of my lifetime mentors, John Maxwell. He taught on something that is very near and dear to my heart. In fact, it is a part of my life mission statement: “To encourage others to lead a life of significance”.
John made a great point. You can lead a life pursuing success. Nothing is wrong with that…but it can become very self-centered. Or you can first choose to lead a life of “significance”…that leads to selflessness. One in which you place a high value on people.
Most people lose sight of the big picture…about life. It is not a dress rehearsal. It is here. It is now.
The big picture about life and how we are to live it is found in the book of Matthew 25:31-40:
“When the son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come you who are blessed by my Father, take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and feed you or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison or go to visit you?’ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine you did for me.'”
You see…honoring Jesus with your life…a life He deems as “significant”…involves valuing others, even strangers. As you reflect on the words…”you did for me,” you find that Jesus takes it personally.
Jesus is often referred to in scripture as the “Shepherd” and we, His people, as the sheep. Did you know that a shepherd smells like the sheep? God sent his Son Jesus to live on earth…to “walk in our shoes”…to smell and experience what we experience.
I find great comfort in knowing He holds the Moores right now! God allowed His Son to be crucified on a cruel cross for me and for you. There is nothing we experience on earth that He doesn’t already know or lived out Himself as the “Son of man.”
After receiving the gut-wrenching news of Jackson’s death, I had to go back to bed ….wrap myself in a blanket…cry and pray…for God to surround…to engulf this family and their broken hearts.
I couldn’t help but think about it all from a mother’s perspective. Polly’s reality is my worst “nightmare”. Polly and I have had so many conversations about our faith, our walk with Jesus and shared stories of God’s faithfulness. She once shared with me that her husband, Richard, lost his first wife in an accident. I don’t know that I could count the hours we have spent over the years walking golf courses together, following our boys.
We both have two sons who have played golf their entire lives, all the way to college. God has been faithful to provide a family outside of blood, our golfing family. I hurt today for the Moores. I grieve the loss of Jackson…but I find comfort in knowing…that Jackson’s life was significant…kind, gentle, sweet, hardworking.
I encourage you, in the midst of your own life, to value every moment. To reflect often on the “legacy” you would like to leave behind. Choose “significance”….which will bring eternal rewards:)