Skip to main content

What Makes the Ending So Sad

Today's subject header brought to you by Lou Rawls. Check it out. Good music.

I just read a beautiful email by a friend of the family who was carefully wording the terrible end of the passing of the patriarch of the family. As I sat and prayed for the family I had several thoughts race through my brain. I need to pass this along the prayer chain and get everyone praying for this need. Everyone already has a need similar to this in their own network of friends/family. Everyone has other needs as well; what makes cancer such a terrible enemy? Particularly, what makes cancer such a terrible enemy to both Christians and non-Christians alike? 

I think I have come to a partial answer.

Everyone would agree that cancer is a terrible enemy because we have yet to find a successful foolproof way of battling it and winning every time. Happily there are many people who face the sickness of cancer and come out stronger and more full of life than ever before, but make no mistake--cancer is a terrible enemy.

And yet...

I think the thing that makes cancer such a terrible enemy and such a struggle for families to face is that when someone receives the diagnosis it means their body has suddenly been given a timeline with an end mark. All of us will die at some point, it's one of the curious facts of life, death is. And yet, given the choice to either know when you would die or not know when you would die (according to The Bucket List), only 5% of people polled said they would like to know the date in advance of their death.

Cancer is such a terrible enemy because it gives us a realized shortened timeline to work with. It leaves us with a loved one who is not in the same state of mind that we once knew them in, much less the same physical state they were capable of.

Cancer is information. It is the spoiler alert. Cancer tells us that the end is near and that there is little to do about it. Though people die all around us in car crashed or other instances of quick death, cancer marks a foreshadowing of death that is to come.

And so, while I pray for my friends, I also thank God that He has marked out the days for me in His Book of Life, but not clued me into how many days are left for me. He instead instructs me to live each day to the fullest with no promise of tomorrow. Always a hope and bright future for tomorrow, but He says "do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." (Matt 6:34).

I encourage you, gentle reader, live today with the excitement of life. You do not know when you will draw your last breath and you likely do not care to know when it would happen. Thank God that you have breath now and live your life in such a way that will be pleasing to Him. The end is coming and perhaps even near, so live like you were dying. And die to yourself, so you can live fully in Him. (Phil 1:21)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Protesting ChristMass

During a meeting with several other Cincinnati area worship ministers last week we got to talking shop about Christmas/Christmas Eve services; who was doing them, who was not, how many and what time. I was intrigued (neither positive nor adverse reaction) to find that roughly a third of the churches represented were not having any kind of Christmas Day services, even though Christmas morning is a Sunday this year. Yet there was one leader (Reggie) who said that their church has a Christmas morning worship service every year regardless of whether it falls on a Sunday.

Initially this shocked me. How could this be? Why would this be? Why have a church service every Christmas? Why not stay home and eat cinnamon rolls and open presents like the rest of America? Reggie said many of the people who expect this from his congregation are not native North Americans. Initially Reggie was against the idea, but once he realized how many people from his congregation wanted to have a Christmas mornin…

The Home School Game

Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas. Our family has started a tradition of celebrating this day by opening gifts from our stockings on this day and remembering the historical figure of Nicholas, who was a humble and generous person. It is a wonderful compromise for our family backgrounds to both celebrate Santa Claus and at the same time keep Christ-mas about Christ. It has become a tradition I look forward to every year.

This year, we decided to add an element of teaching our children to be generous by choosing toys they want to give away to other girls and boys who are less fortunate than our children. Katie lined up two dozen toys they had not been playing with for some time now and laid them all out on a table. One by one, our kids examined the toys on the table and were instructed to pick out onetoy they wanted to keep for themselves. After each kid had picked out a toy to keep, they were told to go back through the toys and pick another toy they wanted to give away. It was heart-…

Imitation: Diets, Houses, and Faith

There were 3 options for my preschoolers to choose from: Honey Bunches of Oats, Cocoa Pebbles, or Raisin Bran. I set all 3 on the table and asked each child which cereal they would like to eat for breakfast; all three chose 'Honey Boats.' After pouring their cereal and getting each kid situated, I poured myself a bowl of Raisin Bran and we all got to munching.

When Isaiah (my oldest) finished his cereal first he asked if he could have more. Sure thing, which one do you want? 
"That one" *pointing to the Raisin Bran*
Surprised I pour him a bowl of Raisin Bran, surprised that he ate the entire bowl.

As we were cleaning up our bowls from the table after breakfast I realized that the Cocoa Pebbles were not touched this morning, not even mentioned. Odd, I thought, typically the chocolately-sugary cereals don't last a week at our house. And yet this is the same [big] bag of Cocoa Pebbles that we opened over a month ago. Why the sudden lack of interest?

****************…