6 03 2013

It is possible to live under a personal delusion. You might think you are a kind, considerate and gracious human being but you might be the only way who thinks so! You think you are investing positive principles into your children when in reality, if you could check with them twenty years later, whatever you did do has long been purposely forgotten. What if you could read your own obituary? How do people really see you? Here is the story of a man who actually did get that chance and it changed absolutely everything!

One morning in 1888 Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, awoke like he always did and when he grabbed his morning paper he was shocked to see that his own death notice was included in the obituary section. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple journalistic error. You see, it was Alfred’s brother that had died and the reporter carelessly reported the death of the wrong brother. Any man would be disturbed under the circumstances, but to Alfred the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him.

The headline in clear black and white had labeled Nobel as “The Dynamite King!” It went on to tell that the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives was nothing more than simply a merchant of death. And like it or not, it was for that alone he would be most remembered. As he read the article with horror, he resolved to change his ways right there and then! He would make clear to the world the true meaning and purpose of his life. This would be done through the final giving away of his fortune. His last will and testament allowed for an endowment of five annual prizes for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace (the sixth category of economics was added later)—and this would be the expression of his life’s ideals and ultimately would be why we would remember him. The result was the most valuable of prizes given to those who had done the most for the cause of world peace. It is called today, the “Nobel Peace Prize.”

Like it or now- we all live like time is an infinite resource that will never run out and will always be there for us in a steady supply- but unfortunately it isn’t! Definitely not this side of heaven! And just like a ball game that runs by a clock- we only have so many seconds to get done what we need to accomplish and to waste precious minutes is never a good strategy! So let’s move away from just staying busy- attending to only what is good- to begin to prioritizing our focus to only being about what is best! Are you giving life away to all that will last? Are you laying a foundation that even eternity may build upon? Remember that where your heart is- there your treasure will be also!

As I write this article, it is dark, gloomy and stormy outside of my window! It seems very appropriate because death has appeared again uninvited into my life in its earth shattering ways! Today’s rain reminds me that not all tears are wiped away yet! Weeping is still a part of life this side of heaven- especially when we have to experience letting go those loved ones that we have never had to live without! God knows that our spirits were created to live in community forever and all creation groans for that day when death will no longer be allowed to get its ugly grip upon us. Until that day I pray often words like this: “Lord Jesus- please receive our aching cries and know that we look to you to never let us go even when this journey takes us through that dreaded death valley that we know that one day soon- we will never have to pass that way again! Come quickly Lord Jesus! And thank you that because of what you did for us on the cross and by rising from the grave- death won’t have to be the final destination for any of us who simply believe! I believe Lord and please help my unbelief on days like today when it hurts so much.”

Family- what kind of life story are you allowing to be written about you? Will they have to lie at your funeral service to exaggerate something nice about you? What are you doing about making sure that your legacy mattered? Don’t forget to unwrap each day as the precious gift that it is. We don’t have the luxury to throw too many twenty four hour periods away! And if you are going to overdo it in any direction- make sure you go overboard in the area of your relationships with those that you love deeply because in less than a twinkling of an eye- they may no longer be here for you to love upon! Yes my gut is exploding this week because I didn’t properly get the chance to say goodbye to those that I genuinely and deeply loved. I am so ticked at myself for once again allowing myself to get way too busy to heed God’s clear promptings to slow down so I could go and see these individuals and today was too late! If God brings somebody to mind today- make sure you allow your body to do something with that special gift because if you don’t open it immediately- you may never get another chance again! If I am going to be known as the dynamite king- then I want my biography to read that he exploded with God’s love wherever he went and he blew up the darkness with the hope that living in the light is pure delight! What about you?

This article is dedicated to the loving memory of Ruth Pashley and Larry Murdock and their precious families…



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