2016: Page 65

Earthdate: 20160305 — These are the ramblings of one traveler’s journey on earth as he makes his way toward a heavenly home.

Another day of life is drawing to a close so it is time to reflect on what this page contains.  There was a light dusting of fresh snow overnight but being a Saturday there was no need to do anything with it.  It doesn’t seem to make much difference if I set an alarm or not, I find myself waking up at my usual workday time even on weekends.  I did manage to stay in bed until almost 8 before getting up to start the day.  While the snow had stopped, it was still an overcast, drizzly, damp day.  With all of the walking and hiking I do, my shoes were falling apart so a trip to Bass Pro Shops seemed like a good plan.  We found hiking/walking boots for both MJ and I and a shirt for Susan so it was a good trip for the entire family.  

After leaving the store, we made a quick stop at the nearby park on the Lake Michigan shore.  The wind coming off the lake was cold and damp but I braved it long enough to take a few pictures.  From there we headed to the Michigan City outlet mall where we each found some things that we were in need of — or at least some things that each of us could put to good use.  Being that close to the lake, we made another stop along the waterfront to photograph the lighthouse and scenery.  The water and sky both had a grumpy, unsettled look to them but it was fun to watch the gulls ride the wind.  While walking along the lake, there were signs warning people to not walk on the shelf ice that has built up along the waterfront.  My first introduction to shelf ice was many years ago at the Indiana Dunes State Park where signs warned to stay off the shelf ice because “unsafe death” could occur.

As I saw the shelf ice signs again today, I remembered my first reaction that wondered what the state would consider “safe” death.  It became a running joke that anything with an element of danger to it could result in unsafe death.  As these new signs took my mind back to my first reaction, I had to admit my first conclusion was wrong — not all death is “unsafe death”.  For death to be “safe” or “unsafe” has nothing specifically to do with the cause of death, rather it is all about what happens after death.  God says that the death of a saint is precious in His sight.  Not because the process of death is precious, rather because as Paul put it, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.”  

I saw a billboard this week that stated something to the effect that the fear of death is a good reason to quit smoking.  While I believe their point is that smoking has a tendency to lead to a shorter life span than what those who don’t smoke have, my first reaction was that I thought the percentage of smokers who die is pretty much the same as the percentage of non-smokers who die.  There are many benefits to be had when someone quits smoking, but not dying is not one of those benefits.  When sin entered the world, death entered as well.  Unless we are alive when Jesus returns, we will not avoid death.  But to get back to where this page was headed, we do have a choice about whether our death will be “safe” or not.  The only “safety” to be found in death is to be in Christ in this life so that we are with Christ when our life continues into eternity.

I pray that you and I would be found in Christ each day that we live so that when our time comes to leave this earth we would be found safe in Him.  I pray that we would be effective ambassadors as we share the good news of the kingdom we belong to and represent.  


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