ENDING WELL

I blinked and January slipped through my fingers…

While I accomplished some things in the first three weeks of the New Year, I must admit I did not make the progress I hoped to see. Today I am focused and on track. I won’t waste too much time regretting what didn’t get done, but today’s calendar date is a reminder that time marches on, whether I’m up to speed with my goals or not.

Years ago a friend gave me a business-sized card that said: “Live With Intention.” I posted it on my kitchen cupboard as a daily reminder to make each day count for eternity. I am not always heavenly-minded – I’m looking to knock off another 10 pounds like so many others, but in the Big Picture of my life, I want to make a difference for eternity. Surely, I want to make the best of 2012, but more than that, at the end of my life, I want to end well.

Charles Hart did. I had the privilege of attending his funeral yesterday. Charles Hart was a man of God; he died last week at the age of 96. He spent his entire life pursuing Christ and serving Him. For years, he labored as the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Calumet, MI and as the long-time director of Gitche Gumee Bible Camp in Eagle River, MI. When all the tributes were given and story after story told of lives changed for eternity, I couldn’t help but think, “The half has not been told.”

Pastor Hart’s son-in-law Bob Fisher sang a moving rendition of “Finally Home,” which depicts the wonder of waking up in heaven – and realizing it is now home! I chose that song for my husband’s funeral 20 years ago; it still thrills and comforts me each time I hear it.

I couldn’t help but think that one more song should have been sung at Pastor Hart’s service: “Thank You,” by Ray Boltz.  “Thank You” imagines the scene of a believer arriving in heaven, only to find a line of people waiting to thank him/her for giving of their time, talents or treasure in a way that affected their eternal destiny. If that is an accurate scene, I smile to think of the long line waiting to thank and embrace Pastor Hart!

I don’t wish to be morbid, but I’ve chosen a song I would like included in my funeral service some day. Written by Jim Cowan, it is better known as performed by Robin Mark on the “Revival in Belfast” CD, “When It’s All Been Said and Done” speaks to my heart of the importance of a life lived for Christ. What matters when we flip the calendar page on the last day of our lives?  Missionary C. T. Studd got it right: “Only one life, twill soon be past; only what’s done for Christ will last.”

It isn’t just January that’s flying by. Life is passing at the speed of light. If I am blessed with the longevity of my family, at the age of 62, I still have another 30 years or so to live. Two-thirds of my life is over. What is my goal for the final third? To make it the best yet – to end well. I want to hear Jesus say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV).

Thought for the day: What is your goal for this year…and for the rest of your life?

1 Comment

  1. Kathy Fortney
    Feb 5, 2012

    I fail miserably but my intent is to please God each day. I thank God for your words of wisdom and reminders of where my heart should be.

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