“Now listen you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you don not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are just a vapor and a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” James 4:13,14
About a month ago, I was heading down the stairs to head to bed just like I have countless times over the last 15 years in this house. I don’t know what happened, but about five steps from the bottom and not a lot of space from said step to imposing wall below, I launched. My head slammed straight into the wall, and I managed to not only get a softball sized knot on my forehead, but also cracked a rib, jammed a couple of digits and twisted my knee. Not a good idea.
My husband pulled me to my feet while I was still reeling and I stumbled to bed, shaking and dazed. He was quickly snoring, causing the surreal-ness of the event to be amplified, as if I hadn’t just almost took myself out. Stream of consciousness thoughts briefly followed. “I wonder if it’s a concussion. Should I go to sleep? What if I don’t wake up?” Snore. Then the next thought: “Am I ready to meet God?” My answer to my own question, “Yeah.” Pause. “Then whatever.” And then I fell asleep. There wasn’t any music, no deceased parents calling “walk to the light,” nothing.
I woke up the next morning, still dazed but definitely alive and I thought “maybe it should have been more profound than that if I thought I might go to sleep and not wake up.” And then I thought that I probably should have been bothered if that was it and I was going to meet Jesus and give an account of my life.
But maybe that’s how quickly we can pass from this life to the next. It’s probably not like the movies where music is supplied and someone’s life looks so heroic or filled with gusto. Like the lady in the next community last week whose car got pulled by slush and was smashed by a semi beyond recognition. Or my friend who had strep and didn’t know it and went to the doctor in the morning and was dead that evening.
So we better be ready because we know not our time. And the only thing that matters if we are squared away with God because of personally laying hold of what Jesus did on the cross. Hopefully when it is my “time” I have more to say than “Yeah, whatever.”