In the span of my life I have had many moments where I have said to myself, to God or even to others that I want to live each day like it might be my last; That my desire is to keep an eternal perspective in my life, keeping my eyes fixed on the Cross and on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 says, "let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of God." But then I get caught up. I get caught up with my own worries, my to do list for the week, my selfish desires, my desire to be accepted, my desire for more clothes and earthly possessions. I get caught up in my worries about what people think of me or I even get caught up in my own laziness and comfort. So frustrating! This Holiday season I was convicted like I never have been before on this matter.
Anthony Riggan is a guy that I graduated with from High School. I have known Anthony since I was in elementary school. He was one of the few people that I know that truly lived out the meaning of having an eternal perspective. Even from a young age he knew what mattered on this earth. He knew this earth wasn't his home and he was constantly striving to bring Glory to God in everything he did. Sadly Anthony died in a sudden plane crash along with his wife last week. His funeral was so powerful because of the legacy that he has left. He has touched so many lives with the way he lived his life and with the way he loved God. I wanted to share this devotion that Anthony wrote a few years ago that they put it in his program. This not only shows what an amazing heart this guy had but it is so convicting, especially knowing that Anthony is in heaven and knowing that he lived this out with no hesitation.
Unfortunately, an attribute in life that we all must face is death. Death can come so unexpectedly and so quickly that it will overwhelm us when it does. However we have the choice of how to meet that death whenever it comes. I think that as humans it becomes so natural to plan ahead and deal with the future while forgetting about what a blessing it is to live today. Friends, we are not guaranteed our next five seconds, anything could happen. God has a plan for us all and included in that plan is when He is going to take us home. Look at James 4:13-15, "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 do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. instead you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."
What is your life? is that verse not so true in our lives? I find myself contemplating the future so often when in reality I have no idea if I will be blessed with tomorrow or not. Likewise for all of us, you do not know when your appointed time of departure is. But do not fear this death that will come to us all, for we have a Savior who has saved us from that eternal demise. Because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross, we have assurance of our salvation through Him. Last weekend at a Woodmen youth, Brian Carlson, the youth pastor shared an amazing verse pertaining to the death of Lazarus, Jesus' friend. John 11:25-26, " I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Well do you? if you do, then you have nothing to worry about and you shouldn't worry about what tomorrow brings. Let tomorrow worry about itself! live today! in the words of William Wallace, "Every man dies but not every man truly lives." Are you living? What is your life? In the next five seconds anything could happen. Friends, I encourage us to do one thing. Live each day as if it was your last, because it could very well be. When you wake up in the morning, thank God for blessing you with another day and LIVE IT! It is my hope that after every day when I lay down and think about my day, there would be NOTHING that I would have done differently, that I would have lived that day as it were my last. Life is a precious blessing that we should never take for granted. Stop right now and think about what you could be doing today, and if it is more important than what you are doing right now, get up and go do it.. because you may never have that chance again. So live.. live to your fullest, never letting go, loving with all of your heart, running as hard as you can, smiling brightly and enjoy the blessing it truly is to walk one more day here on this planet with our Lord and King.
To his unfading Glory, Anthony
In this new year, my prayer is that I will live with an eternal perspective here on this earth. Anthony has reminded me that our sole purpose on this earth is to live a life bringing Glory to God. I know I will continue to get caught up with my own selfishness but I pray that I will strive to live a life that is filled with passion for God and a passion for others.
Anthony, you will be missed by SO MANY people! You have changed my life with the way you lived yours and I am thankful and feel blessed that I have known a person like you. Thank you for teaching us and showing us what it really means to live out your faith. Rest in Peace.