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Monday, March 26, 2007

Into Eternal Darkness

Today, I attended the funeral of a close friend of our family. He was an older man, almost ninety. We loved him dearly and often went over his home to keep him company as I was growing up (we lived right down the road) and my father and he used to call each other Rockford, after the character in The Rockford Files which they frequently watched together. He loved to entertain us and cook for us, and give Mom the almost brand new kitchen machines that he was constantly swapping out for the latest ones on television. He gave me the best camera that I own, an automatic Nikon SLR, and the lenses to go along with it.

Yet for all this he broke all of our hearts by his incessant cursing of God and of our Lord Jesus. Every member of our family witnessed to him on several occasions and we all prayed that his heart would be softened and that he would repent. But he never did, and the words of which he was so fond of saying rang in my mind with sickening finality as I saw his casket laid over the open pit that will house his body. When we'd ask him where he was going after he died, he almost always said: "Six feet in the ground!" as if it were a joke, though fear tinged his words and we knew he was bucking at reality.

He was right: he went about six feet into the ground . . .. But that isn't where he really is right now. There is no life in that corpse. No spirit behind those eyes, and no presence when you stand near the body. Why? Because, though his body rests, his soul has at last passed--not into the joy of our Lord (as the Catholic priest said)--but on to eternal punishment for rejecting the One who wanted to give him life.

There was no smart retort when God cast him out, no complaint of an unfair ruling; he had his chance . . . and let it pass him by. When it happened and he saw the fire, did he at last mourn for his foolish denial of impending judgment? Did he beg and plead for forgiveness . . . when the opportunity had all ready passed him by?

Hardly any tears were shed at his funeral, and the people who came were very few. He spent his life living as he wanted to live, doing what made him happy and not concerning himself with the one who fashioned him and breathed life into him. He paid the price of a life lived without God.

What about us? Are we truly living with eternity in mind? Death can seem so trivial a thing nowadays, what with how desensitized movies have made us to it. Yet still it shocks us back to reallity and proves how fleeting life is.

Today I renewed my determination to live for God and live life to the fullest. He wants us to enjoy life and enjoy Him, not live complacently! Salvation through Christ is the only safe ticket out of this life, and I am thankful that He led me to repentence.

Don't live a wasted life, as my friend did. Live it in the love of God, and love the people around you. And enjoy it! Life is short and we only have one life, here, to live.

3 comments:

Shayna said...

Sobering Truth! May all that read this take heed to the Gospel.

"Only one life, will soon be past. Only whats done for Christ will last".

Anonymous said...

Well said, Scott, well said....

Jennifer

Cody said...

I didn't realize this was the man whose funeral you were talking about. I'm very sorry to hear about this Scott. It's never easy to attend a funeral when you know the person rejected Jesus. How do you plan to better live life with eternity in mind?

WELCOME TO THE WRITING SITE OF SCOTT APPLETON

"Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones." -Proverbs 16:24

In a world where morality is forsaken and Christ neglected, wholesome books are uncommon. The themes of my writing are love, self-sacrifice, and honor.

I see my generation turning from God to the gods of this world. I see homes torn apart in the pursuit of pleasure and self-gratification. Children are murdered by the millions every year . . . without ever seeing the world outside their mothers' wombs. Through fiction I strive to encourage those who are willing, to stand against these things and be heroes and heroines; chivalrous, gentle, full of righteous indignation, and the fear and love of their Creator.