Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
I’ll never forget the weekend that one of my family’s longtime friends died. As many times as I have witnessed it, death always seems to take me by surprise. Mr. Hansen was a wonderful person. He was fervent in his faith and held strongly to personal convictions about the Bible, creation, and the need to disciple students. As I think back over the time that I knew him, I recall Sunday School lessons, Wednesday night Bible studies, and the occasion I sat in his living room talking about, seminary, marriage, and God’s will for my life. I have no doubt in my mind that somewhere around 8:30 pm Heaven Standard Time on June 14, 2003, Mr. Hansen heard his Lord say to him, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
It’s interesting how things work out. The day before Mr. Hansen passed away my sister got married and went on her honeymoon. Friday night I was celebrating the beginning of Laurie and Shane Pike’s life together; Saturday night I was morning the death of a long time friend and mentor. It would be easy to miss the connection between these two events. The truth of the matter is that both my family and Mr. Hansen’s can spend the next weeks and months celebrating a new life, a fresh start, and a surpassing joy in the knowledge that our loved ones are where they can be the happiest.
Does it really take a marriage or a death to remind us of God’s divine will and plan for our lives? That weekend, Laurie and Shane were in Maine, Mr. Hansen was in Heaven, and I was on I-95 driving towards the state of North Carolina. As my wife and I traveled, I thought about the past week’s events and even my own marriage almost a year and a half before. I remember college, high school, and growing up under my parents influence. In all of this, it’s difficult to separate the events of my life between God’s ordained plan and my own selfish decisions. Much like the interstate that I am on, I find that the most important thing in life is to keep my mind on the final destination. It is important that I don’t travel too far off of the road or become distracted by the many tourist traps along the way.
This is the life that I hope to live for Christ. This is the example that Mr. Hansen has left for me, and the prayer that I lift up for all of us on this journey of life. We must never forget that we were placed on this earth for a reason. Our Creator longs to have a relationship with us and to bless us along the way. We have to keep on keeping on though. We must show others the way as we go and we must never look back. As the Apostle Paul stated, we must press on towards the goal. We must continually keep Christ at the center of everything we do… this is our reason for living. If we can do this we will be sure to find Christ waiting for us with His hands open wide.