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December 21, 2012 / Pastor George Fike

On the 9th day of Christmas… It’s just that you’re dead so long!

HEY!!! What gives?  I’m still here!

Looks like the Mayans were wrong after all.  A friend of mine, Pete Zimowski, posted this cartoon to his facebook page that may explain why their long day calendar stopped on this date:

2 Mayan guys

What really happened to the Mayan calendar

The Mayans were pretty much snuffed out in 950 A.D.  Theories abound in what brought about their demise.  While learning the cause through archeology can advise our future as a species, this much is certain:

We’re ALL gonna die!

I’m sorry.  I mean, someday.  Just not today.  Well, at least for most of us.  I guess one of us could die today.  Don’t stay up worrying about it.

The problem is when we don’t realize how short life really is.  We think we have all the time in the world.  But everything we know about science and nature tells us it’s all going to end someday.  Knowing the temporal will give way to the transcendent one day, how should we then live?

We could live for today with no thought about the consequences of our apathy. This is the path King Hezekiah chose.  After God had blessed his kingdom so richly, he entertained envoys from the rising kingdom of Babylon by showing off the treasures of the Temple to them.  Isaiah the prophet reprimanded him with a prophecy that this kingdom would come back and carry off all the treasures he had shown them.  How did Hezekiah respond?

“The word of the Lord you have spoken is good,” Hezekiah replied. For he thought, “Will there not be peace and security in my lifetime?” (2 Kings 20:19)

There used to be a beer commercial that said, “You only go around once in life, so you need to reach for all the gusto!”  Frankly, I hope there’s more gusto than you can find in a beer can.  In fact, there’s more than can be contained in this life alone.  The apostle Paul said,

“What no eye has seen,
    what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
    the things God has prepared for those who love him— (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Jesus said,

…everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. (Matthew 19:29)  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)

We could live in guilt over mistakes made, the roads not taken.  This is taking a seat when the race is not over.  Mark Whetu, renowned mountaineer who climbed Everest four times, could have succumbed to his depression.  Hear the pain of regret in his voice in the following video excerpted from The Fatal Game:

The statement describes a painful experience.  According to Keith Woodford, in an article Mountain ethics and Everest, 

On a previous climb Whetu stayed with a fellow climber (Mike Reinberger) who collapsed up at about 8500 meters and refused to leave the unconscious man.  His team members from base camp finally cajoled him into leaving by saying over the radio they needed him to come back down to the next camp to help organize the rescue.  It was a lie.  But it saved his life although he did lose his toes and part of his feet.

A heart-breaking experience of leaving a man behind to die could have easily left him despondent.  But Whetu climbed Everest again for a fourth time in December 2003.  It was Mark Whetu who is attributed with the statement that inspired my song:

“It’s not that life is so short… It’s that you’re dead so long.”

There are a great many purposes for which one could live.  But life is not experienced from a sitting position.  Jesus said,

My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.  Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John 5:17-18) As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. (John 9:4)

Consider the words of the song.  Do you know what you will do when this life ends?  Is there something you need to do, someone you need to know before that day comes?

Remember, you can find all 12 songs HERE.


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