Death, Derrieres, and “Crazy Love”

 

“In about fifty years (give or take a couple of decades), no one will remember you. Everyone you know will be dead. Certainly no one will care what job you had, what car you drove, what school you attended, or what clothes you wore.”

Well that’s a rosy way to start a blog now, isn’t it? I hope you stick with me for at least another paragraph or two – I promise you won’t click away depressed! You see, last night I began reading Crazy Love written by preacher and best-selling author Francis Chan. Immediately feeling inspired, I posted an Instagram photo of one of the book’s opening paragraphs. Here are a few of the comments I received from friends:

“Oh my gosh, Diana! C.L. kicked my booty! Loved it!”

“It’s a butt-kicker, for sure! I’ve read it twice and will probably read it again.”

“Get ready, girl! It’s crazy-intense and wonderfully good!”

After reading just 53 pages so far, I can honestly say that indeed my booty is sore…but I think that’s due to all the squats and box jumps I did yesterday… Regardless, I’m feeling the heart-pumping, soul-stirring, and yet undeniably uncomfortable side effects that follow a physical and spiritual challenge, and the head-to-toe, inside-out sensation truly is “crazy-intense” and “wonderfully good!”

The sunny quote I opened with appears in the second chapter, titled “You Might Not Finish This Chapter.” And he doesn’t mean you might not finish it because you get a phone call from your mom or have to pick up your dog from the vet. He means you might keel over and die. In the words of Mr. Chan, this possibility isn’t morbid – “it’s reality.” [1]

We live in a fallen world, don’t we? We know we’re destined to die someday, but we go to sleep at night feeling assured that we’ll see the morning, have our coffee, and go about business as usual in the same manner as we did yesterday and the day before. We don’t stop to consider that one morning our heart could stop as we peruse our inbox, or that on the way to work a distracted driver could swerve across the yellow line and send us instantly through Heaven’s pearly gates.

Honestly, I don’t think we’d get much accomplished if we stopped to consider those scenarios very often, a sentiment Chan also addresses when he says we can either turn inward in the face of fear, or “acknowledge our lack of control and reach out for God’s help.”[2] Thank God He’s not far from each one of us, ever-desiring to strengthen and protect us, always prepared to comfort and carry us.[3]

Mr. Chan’s right. Very few of us will be remembered in a few decades. We’ll be like the faded black and white photographs of smiling strangers that adorn the walls of our parents’ hallways, those far-away relatives who compose distant branches of our family tree. No one will remember how much money we earned; every honor and achievement will become ragged threads of history. What will never be forgotten are the things we do for Jesus and the Kingdom of God.

all for God

1st Corinthians 3:13-15 says that fire will test the quality of each person’s work on earth. If what has been built survives the flames of God’s judgment over our lives, we will receive just reward. If what we’ve built turns to ashes, we will still enter God’s presence because of His grace through Christ’s all-atoning sacrifice, but we will do so “only as one escaping through the flames.”

I don’t want to enter Heaven smelling of smoke. I don’t want to watch my life sizzle and shrink into a smoldering pile of rubble in the presence of Almighty God. I want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”[4]  I want to feel Christ’s hands place a crown upon my head. I want to cast that crown at His feet and cry out in worship:

“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.” [5]

 

Rather than be brought down by reminders of your mortality, I pray your spirit will be lifted up with the promise of eternity in Heaven, where thieves cannot break in, where moth and rust cannot destroy, where there is no death or suffering.[6] Let everything you do be done for His glory, to make known the name of His Son Yeshua, “Salvation,” the Light of the World.

light
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[1] From Chapter Two, page 40, of Crazy Love

[2] From Chapter Two, page 44 of Crazy Love

[3] Acts 17:27; Psalm 91’ Matthew 11:28-30

[4] Matthew 25:21, ESV

[5] Revelation 4:11, NIV

[6] Matthew 6:19-20

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