As I write these words in 2001, I face a small and treasured family picture on my desk. Melanie appears to be four or five years old, Jeremy about two. Both are now grown and married. Where did those years go? Can I really turn 57 this year? The folks I once knew as grownups are now either old or dead. My contemporaries are showing their own years. The youths are taking over the world. Thus it has been from the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. And — we might add, before saying “Amen” — thus it ought to be, as well.
A preacher in the New Testament once remarked concerning King David, that “after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, he fell asleep” (Acts 13:36). That’s the best we can hope for on this earth, isn’t it. It is a fitting summary of the truly successful person. The standard mortality tables offer my generation about 20 more years on average. The hardier might last 30 or 40. Yet how soon that, too, will pass. But it is okay. Someone has said that the two most important things in life are love and death. Love makes life sweet. Death makes it precious.
Let us live our lives fully — conscious each day of God and seeking his presence, using the opportunities he gives us for that day, thankful for his blessings. And when our appointed time arrives to leave this mortal life, we can lie down and sleep peacefully in Jesus, who has blazed that trail already, knowing that one day he will wake us again to enjoy immortal life in a sinless world forever.