Don't write it yet!
I think there comes a time when every once in a while everybody ought to just come right out and unload all their incidental thoughts, which I believe have a tendency to muddy the waters of a clear-thinking mind. Could I have a minute?
* Was learning cursive really necessary? * I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t at least kind of tired. * You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment, every day at work, that you know you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. * Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-ray? I don’t want to have to restart my collection all over ... again. * I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to take a nap when I was younger. * How in the world are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? * Nothing sears the memory more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. * I think the freezer deserves a light as well. * I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger. I feel lightheaded now.
Toward the end of the 19th century, Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel awoke one morning to read his obituary in the local newspaper. “Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who died yesterday, devised a way for more people to be killed in a war than ever before, and he died a very rich man.” Actually, it was Alfred’s older brother who had died. A newspaper reporter had bungled the epitaph. The account had a profound effect on Nobel. At that point he decided he wanted to be known and remembered for something other than developing the means to kill people efficiently and amassing a fortune in the process. So he initiated the Nobel Prize, the award for scientists and writers who foster peace. Today he is more widely known for the Nobel Peace Prize than he is for inventing dynamite. Nobel is quoted as saying, “Every man ought to have the chance to correct his epitaph in midstream and write a new one.”
[Hebrews 12:14; Luke 13:1-5; Acts 26:19-20; Ephesians 5: 15-17] My obituary has not been written yet. Whatever it is that men think of me, I still have the opportunity to make it better. Whatever mistakes I have made in the past, the possibility still exists for me to correct them.
Whatever it is that I have not yet done, but should have, I may still have time to do them. As long as God gives me life and liberty, I can make of it something meaningful and lasting. As long as I have breath and desire, I can do my part to improve myself, my family, my neighborhood, the church, maybe even the world. Everyone has the opportunity to change their epitaph, up until the day he dies. Of course, the best thing that could ever be written in my obituary is that I was a faithful Christian. I believe it all begins with repentance.
What is repentance? An exhaustive Bible concordance Greek dictionary says this: “To change any or all of the elements composing one’s life: attitude, thought and behaviors concerning the demands of God for right living.” “... make every effort to live in peace with all men ...”; is that unreasonable? “... repent or perish ...”; is that unclear? “... repent and turn to God ... prove your repentance by your deeds”; is that unattainable? God does not demand we jump through fiery hoops to prove our sincerity. Keep His commands and love your neighbor; wow! What a concept! (Romans 13:8-10) “Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the
Lord’s will is.”
Thomas W. Bonham is an associate minister with the Floresville Church of Christ. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find his column on his blog at http://wilsoncountynews.com.
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