They Loved It Here, But Are No Longer Here

You see them everywhere… engraved in sidewalk brick, etched in park benchs,  scattered along the coastal path I’m walking today… Memorials to those who loved it here, but are no longer here.

My family has a bench with my mom’s name on it in Door County, Wisconsin. Only a year or two before she got cancer, I told my mom during conversation, “Mom you’re not going anywhere, I think you’ll be here for a while!” Was I ever wrong about that! Two short years after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer my mom was gone. Now she has a bench like so many others who loved it here, but are no longer here.

I know it’s something that none of us like to think about, but our place in this world doesn’t last forever. Every one of those memorial bricks is actually telling you and me that someday that’s going to be us. And it really doesn’t matter how young or old you are. Next to the guy’s memorial that built a house on the beach 60 years ago, and lived to be 87, is a 6 year old who only got to play in the sun and build a sand castle for a few short years. They both loved it here, but are no longer here.

With that reality in mind Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he gain the whole world and loses his soul?” -Mark 8:36

See your soul is more important than the whole world! It’s more important than the house you live in and all the stuff you can fit in it. There’s pretty much nothing that you can do or own in this world that’s as important as your soul. Ask anyone who’s just lost someone they love to cancer or a car accident. You’d give the whole world if you could just to have them back! Suddenly everything changes, your perspective totally changes. For most of us it takes a loss like that to wake us up to how fragile this world is and how quickly things can change. Like I said, I thought my mom would probably be around for quite a while. Our family has a pretty good history of longevity, she seemed pretty healthy and I really wasn’t worried. I had a false sense of security. The Bible tries to warn us about that but we don’t get it.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” -James 4:13-14

We think it’s going to last forever. We see the memorial bricks and think they’re for someone else.

I don’t know about you, but I’m done putting my hopes in a world that’s passing away. My parents are gone, some good friends are gone, my first really serious girlfriend died a couple years ago. At what point do we realize, “Hey, someday it’s going to be me that’s gone!”

Take a look at this statue.

It’s located at Seaside, Oregon where I’m  standing writing this. It says, “End of the Trail”.

How true!

As I’m blogging this a man in his mid 70s stood by the statue and said, “I need to get my picture by Lewis and Clark.” My friend, you may soon be where Lewis and Clark are!

How do you know how long you have here on this Earth?

How often do we hear of those eager for retirement, upon finally coming into it, being suddenly snatched out of this world?

“And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’”– Luke 12:18-20

You will be gone, and your family will use your money to buy a memorial brick dedicated to you, or put your name on a park bench in a place you loved!

“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”-Psalm 90:12

Wisdom considers eternity. Our days here are numbered and we need to make sure we never forget that.