|"For what is your life? It|
is even a vapor that
appears for a little time
and then vanishes away."
I was just trying to clear away a bit of clutter from my desk i.e., rubber bands, paper clips, and Christmas cards yet to be opened. Trying to bring some order to the space. A writing desk sits in the corner of my rarely used living room and it is my favorite spot to meet and chat with the Lord!
I picked up an obituary from a recent funeral to file it away. (Call it an age thing but for years I've been bringing funeral programs home, reading through them again and promptly putting them in a folder in my file drawer.) I can't seem to throw them away. It feels disrespectful, like throwing away the memories or legacy of those departed!
I have obituaries of church members, family friends, family members of friends, and relatives (misfiled because I have a separate folder for those!). A collection of different sizes, various styles, full page and bookmarks. It was like leisurely looking through a family photo album.
They commemorated people of all ages. One was of a baby only a few months old. A few had lived to their eighties or nineties! They dated back to the early 2000s, so of course I began to see members of the same family appear (husband and wives, mothers and fathers of friends, sadly, some of children of parents still living). There were beautiful and brilliant twenty year olds; talented millennials, and I grieved all over again for the knowledge and wisdom taken to the grave by senior saints who blessed and encouraged me while they were alive!
I stood there just remininscing, thinking about where I was in my own life when these souls transitioned. I was beginning to feel a bit morbid when I settled down to read my In Touch Devotional by Dr. Charles Stanley. He put it all into perspective. Christmas is the perfect time to reflect on life, death, and eternity. After all isn't that why Jesus came into the world? (John 3:17; John 10:10; John 14:1-3).
Mary, Jesus' mother had to consider His death not long after rejoicing at His birth (Matthew 2:13-21). King Herod pronounced a death sentence on all Jewish male children, two years old and younger to deter the One prophesied from taking the royal throne. In those critical hours, Jesus' earthly parents had to envision the brevity of their son's life and so it should be with us.
For some the Circle of Life may be long and winding filled with many high points. But for others short and abrupt! The reality of it all is that some that we celebrated Christmas with this year may not be with us next Christmas. Show them love while you can and remind them when they start to complain, that the greatest gift they could ever receive is Jesus!
In reading the title of this blog post your mind may have wandered back to the movie Lion King, one of my favorites! The similarity in name and theme was no accident. I love the song, Circle of Life. In fact the entire movie teaches life lessons worth sharing. But when I look at the lyrics of this particular song a bit closer I find a great deal of wisdom in them. Wisdom that is appropriate no matter what stage of life you are in or your religious preference.
As humans we all flow through a life cycle predetermined by our Creator (Psalms 90:10). It is up to us to find our place and purpose in it while we can because as is attested to by both the psalmist David and writer James in the bible, it goes by so quickly. Now that Christmas is over, our minds tend to lean toward the future. New resolutions, prospects, and opportunities to look forward to.
While we prepare for what will be a wonderful year of beginnings for some, let us be thoughtful. It may also be a year of finality. Sadness and regrets may also be in our futures. Still your hearts now against anger or bitterness for any losses that may occur. Embrace it all as it comes! The ebbs and flows, the ups and downs. All are normal and with God's help we'll find our way through it.
It's the Circle of Life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
Through faith and love.
'Til we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle,
The Circle of Life.
(Circle of Life lyrics by Lebo M.)
UNTIL NEXT TIME...
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