Monday, October 3, 2011
"If you aren't telling a good story, nobody thinks you died too soon; they just think you died." - Donald Miller
I've been reading a lot about death. It's fun. And I've been thinking, death is morbid. Our hearts stop beating, the rest of our organs shut down and most of us will get the honor of being slowly eaten by maggots. Yum.
We shove the topic of death to the back of our minds and try desperately never to think of it, unless we're watching Rambo. And when we're watching Rambo even then it's other people dying in all sorts of interesting ways, not us.
I was taking communion yesterday, having my typical judgemental and self-righteous thoughts of how I wasn't such a bad guy after all. I'd noticed the pastor using hand gestures that seemed copied from our other pastor and I was thinking, "At least I don't copy people's hand-gestures."
When I realized how petty and ugly I was being, I tried to confess my pride. But for some reason, God wasn't taking the ugly thoughts away. It wasn't until I began to think about death, Jesus' death, that I began to feel comforted. He died so that I could know how much he loves petty, self-righteous and ridiculous old me.
Jesus said that there is no greater love than that. Love that drives someone to lay his life down for his friends. And Jesus did it for his enemies.
I hope by the time I'm maggot food somewhere, I will have reflected some love like his. I hope that I won't be remembered because I had a naturally kind and gentle temperament. I pray and hope desperately that I'll be remembered as someone who lived like Jesus was alive in him, because he was. (I also hope to be encased in undecomposable plastic, so that the maggots will never get me.)
So here's my plan, Lord willing, I hope to die little deaths every day. Little suicides to self. Jesus empowered, Jesus inspired, attempts at living death.
As was said in Gladiator, "Countrymen, let us sell our lives, for what we do in this life echoes in eternity." Something like that anyway. Something totally memorable.