"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Just A Wayfaring Stranger ....

What would you do if you knew you were going to die very soon? If you could not change your circumstances financially, but realistically given the limitations life has granted you here and now....what would you do? One of my Uncles died last week. I remember him playing with me when I was a little girl. He was fun, and kind. My sisters and I were told after he died, but he knew last July he was dying. I have an aunt who was moved to a care facility thinking she would recover and go home, and last week I found out she will NOT be going back to her home because her health has so deteriorated she cannot care for herself. She will live in a care facility until she dies....I also found out last month a dear friend of ours is in very, very poor health and I remember him as one of the strongest most able people you would know, a real John Wayne of a man and that does include cowboy hats , horses, the range,all that the American ideal of a man would include. Two other friends, one very dear, have had some seriously bad news regarding their health....and I guess I and my friends and much of our family are at that age when this is more common. Actually, I am finding I am in that group the younger members of the family consider " past middle age", I am resisting saying OLD , or older. This has led me to the question again....what would you do if you knew you were dying?( Really though, we are all dying, we just like to fool ourselves into thinking it will come much later in life, when we're ready.) "Before the mountains were born, or Thou didst give birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. Thou dost turn man back into dust, and say, "return, O children of men. For a thousand years in Thy sight are like yesterday when it passes by..." Psalm 90: 2-4 God is eternal and so is the soul of mankind. God has a place for us when our flesh is dead and turned to dust. "whoever believes may in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:15, 16 We are finite beings, God is infinite. Earth , no matter how well we treat it, is NOT eternal, nor is it our Mother, Father, or eternal home...God is our Creator, Father, Mother, our All~our bodies, no matter how well we treat them, are finite. They will wear out and die. Our finite bodies will eventually turn to dust.If we as Christians ( those proclaiming to know Jesus as personal Savior) die, we will go to our real HOME; to a place where He has provided for His own. Here on this earth we are only wayfaring strangers...so I ask again, What would YOU wayfaring strangers do if you knew you were dying soon?  

21 comments:

LindaSueBuhl said...

Good topic for reflection Kathy - in our household it is more reality than supposition. Other than being sure those I love who aren't believers have at least one more opportunity to hear the gospel - can't really think of much except making arrangements for my beloved animals to be cared for. Our real home is a place longed for - where we'll be reunited with so many loved ones and never have to face separation from them again.
On a totally frivolous note - if I knew for certain it was really really soon - I'd sure quit doing housework and dieting!

Mildred said...

As you know, mama's hospice chaplain was a young, strong husband/father who sat with me for many hours over the course of the 5 months that mama lived after being diagnosed with dementia. He would counsel with me re other family member's health issues and mama's passing. He told me of all the plans he had with his wife and his 3 teens but he also told me that he was ready to be called home to Heaven. Eight short weeks after mama passed, Rev. Frank was murdered by a 20 yr old man and a 27 yr old woman who were stranded motorists that Frank gave a ride to. When I got the call that Frank was gone I remembered his words - I am ready. As you say Kathy, we are all dying. We have to live each day to its fullest and we all need to be ready when God calls us Home.

Southern Comfort said...

You are so right. Life is full of hard truths. This is not Heaven. We all will go through trials and we all lose those we love. We all have to be ready to go ourselves, at any time. Watching those you love age and die is so hard, but it is happening to me as we speak. I feel young but even young ones can die suddenly. I have faith that we will all be together again one day, in a perfect place...

KathyB. said...

LindaSue, your concerns are right in line with mine, and I also thought to myself, hey...I don't think calories are much of a concern either...if i were to learn my time on earth was very short I would eat anything I want, and as much of it as I could too.

Mildred, I remember your writing of the death of this man of God so shortly after his ministering to you and your family....it must be a comfort to you and his family that he said he was ready to be called home, and it wold be nice to know his family accepts this as God's timing. Living each day to its' fullest sometimes requires us to do only the mundane...yet the mundane is so needed by families, and friends, and I think the mundane is highly underrated for the true value in life it is.

Southern Comfort, you are right. We do expect the older people to be ready for their end in life on earth, and the passing of youth into eternity seems so much more tragic. This is where faith really comes in. God does NOT make mistakes, and He has called even the very young Home, and into eternity, in His time, in His way, in His plan....

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Hmmm...Make sure each and every member of my family has heard the full gospel of repentance and faith toward God. Many have heard a pseudo gospel, and believe that they are right with God in spite of looking just like the world, acting just like the world, and living just like the world. We are doing this now, but I would be far more intense if I knew I had very little time left. For what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but his children go to hell.

Mary said...

I have a bit of trouble accepting the middle age label, even though I am 51 years old. I am not sure why. I love my age. I just do not consider myself old. My body says I am growing older with its aches and other maladies.

I also live by the thought we are all dying. Flesh does not live forever. We have a soul for that purpose.

I am not afraid of death. My faith in Him washs that fear away.

What would I do if I knew I was dying soon? I do not know. I know that I would live a bit more carefree, no frets to amount to anything. I am a work in progress. When I begin to get anxious I ask myself, "If you were dying right now, would this matter?" Normally the answer is no.

But being that I know I am a work in progress, your question opens my eyes this morning. I need to work harder on myself!

I cannot change others. They must be motivated to seek salvation. But I can set an example.

Daisy said...

None of us know how long we will be here. Although, generally age is a factor in how long we live, it isn't always. We can die at any age. It is wise to be ready now. Thought provoking post, Kathy. Lovely, inspirational song too.

KathyB. said...

Farmgirl Cyn, I agree with you 100 % here!

Mary, I have been calling myself 'middle age' for awhile and someone near and dear told me that was true if I was going to live a bit past the century mark...maybe I am still 'middle age'...but I am not , no...not old yet! And I have asked myself this question every now and then for the same reason you do, " does what I am doing really matter...in the scheme of life?"

Daisy, YES!I guess that is why death at any age gets our attention, it is the END of life here on earth and it happens to all of us at some time , young, old...infirm, healthy, and we don't really know when it is going to take us away.So I keep on planning and working for tomorrow even though I know today might be my last.

Julie Harward said...

Honestly...it would not bother me at all. I do not know why people cling to this life as they do..what awaits us is so much better! We have loved ones there and life goes on. I say let it come, it would be ok with me! And I say amen to all you have said too. Come say hi :D

Teeny Tiny cabin said...

Dear Kathy,
A very important question to ask as we enter into this new year!
It is one I have been trying to be more mindful of. I would want to die to myself a whole lot more often. I also would want to move in the direction of letting go of those every day annoyances that occur as live and work side by side with my best friend and husband--to remember that "always being right" is not something to "die on the hill" for. To answer kinder, softer.
So much more I could write--I just pray that I live in light of standing before Almighty God-that I would not waste the precious time He has given me-that in some small way-my life would glorify Him-For He deserves all the glory!
Thank you Kathy, for stretching me and making me think!
With Love from the Cabin,
Claudia O.

Vikki G said...

post really hit home as my dad is dying~ It is very difficult to see him slip away. He just seems to be withdrawing from everyone and everything with the exception of spending time with my mom. I know that this past May when I had a blood clot I was faced with this and I must say I fought and fought hard. I didn't feel for one moment that it was my time~ A lot to ponder~

Timi said...

Well, I seek God, and ask Him to fill me with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding...(Colossians 1:9)
I ask God to make me ready for meeting Him! Our real home is in heaven, so dying means : going home to our Father :o)!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Excellent post! Often, I think about these things as well as when Christ returns...what about my...make that His...beloved animals given into my care?
I don't know but it doesn't keep me from being faithful to Him.
Would I live any differently? I'm not sure but don't think so. Every day it's my desire to live intentionally, to tell people about Jesus and, sometimes, use words -smile-.
As to eating, I eat anything I want to now but not as much as I'd like.
A few years ago, I realized I'd reached "middle age" and am now past middle age and into senior age. That's when I made a choice to live 'intentionally', to try and be a little Christ on a daily basis. It's not in the failing to be a little Christ I fail, it's in the failing to try.
Kathy, thank you for posting this. Only God knows who will read it and not comment but it will not pass unknown.

Mary said...

Kathy, it definitely is liberating when we ask ourselves, "Is it really important?" And, what is important? It changes us.

Susie said...

I just know this, when the Good Lord above is ready for me, I'm ready to go. Life is good here, but I can only imagine how fantastic it will be in Heaven.

Wobegon Cottage(alice) said...

We are not promised tomorrow or forever but we should live each day as if it were our last. We affect far more lives than we will ever know if we have Christ living with-in us. We are the "light" of the world and with so much darkness we can't help but illuminate someone.

noble pig said...

As a joke I've always said, "If I'm in the hospital dying PLEASE bring me a plate of those Jalapeno Poppers as my last meal or meals." But really I would just want to be with my children and husband every minute.

Happy New Year my friend and sorry to hear about those close to you that have passed.

A. Joy said...

I suppose it's something we all have to do no matter where life takes us and what we do with it - we all have to die. If your best friend is Jesus - then you get to leave Earth with Him! On a different ( and strange ) note - I've always wondered, what if you spent the last day of your life sitting in the dentist chair? You would have wasted your last day cleaning your teeth for what? This is what I'm thinking about when the dental hygenist is flossing my teeth too roughly. Kind of makes you want to never wast time at the dentist. =)

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KathyB. said...

Julie,thank-you. You know , a few years ago I really did cling to the future here on earth in spite of my faith. But I realize I do love life and enjoy the blessings God has provided, but now I think I feel the same as you....

Teeny Tiny Cabin, I like your words about "always being right " is not something to "die on the hill for"...so many conflicts that mar our relationships and time here really do boil down to those words.

Vikki, God has given us so much that to take life lightly is not right, and to fight for life shows it is precious...as is all His handiwork. Yet you are right, sometimes there is a time to let it be...and remember He is the one in control of life and death, sounds like you know this all too well these days and your faith has increased.

Timi, well said Sister!Thank-you~

Sandra, my youngest son and I were discussing life tonight along the same lines as your comment went and I thin I would miss so much here on earth,especially since there is so much that brings me great joy, yet according to Scripture the joy I know here is nothing compared to what awaits us in our real home.

Mary, I know .And I know you really do know too.Thank-you.

Susie, Digging in the dirt..around here lately it is ALL walking in the mud, sinking in the mud....digging the chickens out of mud...I love it here on Cedar Pond, but I can look forward to heaven and NO mud...unless I want it.

Alice, Wobegon Cottage, I keep forgetting the wonderful promises and His blessings so my posts are a reminder to myself He is in control and He has a place for us in eternity with Him.

Noble Pig, how funny ! I have been thinking about my own question and one thing keeps popping into my mind, I would eat all the cheesy filled and covered things I love all day as i stayed home and enjoyed what God has allowed my husband and myself to build and make here...and then eat more cheese on top of plates of pasta and spaghetti, with the very best wines our budget allowed...and invite friends and family over to share the meals with me. Friends who would make me laugh til I cried!With joy.

A.Joy, you are so funny daughter! And that is a perspective I had never thought of....I think I might mention this to our dentist...he always gets a laugh out of the jokes or stories I tell him. I think maybe the dentist already has a lot of people with this philosophy, we should ask Judy.So...expanding on your comment I think the OB GYN appointment should be postponed, I hate them way more than the dentist.

audrey y said...

Loved the song, the group is Renee's favorite.

I could close my eyes and almost imagine I was on my way.

When I was in grade school we sang a song Titled, The Wayfaring Stranger....I don't remember the words but it probably isn't the same song..then again

Audrey