There is a cemetery near our house and for some reason our kids love to go to the cemetery and jump on the tree stumps. As they jump and run to the next stump I often walk around and look at the tomb stones.
It’s a very sobering juxtaposition between life and death. While my kids are finding joy in the smallest of things, not too far away is the final resting place for a child who lived to be just one month old, and near that child is another child who was just days away from his tenth birthday, and near that lies a man who died the day after my birthday.
Each of these people had a life, they had a family, some of them might have accomplished great things in their lives, others barely got to live at all.
And here I am watching my kids play while I’m standing next to the grave of a man who was the same age as me when he died.
I will never know anything about these people, and they will never know anything about me or my kids.
I’m sure many of them worried about what their legacy was going to be, I’m sure many of them were filled with regret over the way they lived their life, I’m sure some of them were worried about their family being ok when they were gone, I’m sure some of them paid extra for a larger tomb stone so that people could read their names from far away.
None of that matters now. No one drives by a cemetery and wonders what kind of people are buried there.
This stark reality leaves me with a couple of big questions: What am I spending my thoughts, time, and energy on that will not matter in a few short years? Did my short life reflect a love for God more than my love for comfort and security? What will my kids say was important to their Daddy?
Those questions reveal that I normally spend too much time worrying about what others might think, that I spend too much time seeking praise from others, that I fear man more than I fear God.
It reminds me of this passage from Matthew 10:28-33 –
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.Matthew 10:28-33
This passage speaks to the frailty of life. We are here one day and gone the next. Who we are and what we did may not matter to others in 10 years, but how we lived our life is what matters to God. Will we dishonor our loving Father by lifting up the opinion of mere humans above His?
I don’t want to care about the meaningless things in life. I don’t want to miss time with my kids for Instagram. I don’t want to miss out on my relationship with God for the praise of man. I don’t want to be eternally separated from God because I was worried about present comfort and security over the provision of my heavenly Father.
What are you spending your time, energy and brain power on? Will it be worth it?