Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do You Really Want To Know?

Have you heard that the actor Patrick Swayze just passed away? He lost a long and very brave battle with pancreatic cancer. This cancer has no symptoms until it’s very advanced, so by the time it’s diagnosed, there’s not much that can be done. Mr. Swayze put up a valiant fight, and even continued to film his new T.V. series while undergoing chemotherapy. But it was a hard and painful survival. This morning I was waiting at the checkout counter in the drugstore when this is what I saw. A popular magazine with the headline: “Patrick Swayze: Inside his final Days.” Now, really! How sensationalistic. So here is my question for you: do you really want to know? I don’t. Why would I want to read a blow by blow account of this poor man’s suffering? We each have enough suffering to deal with in our own lives, without having to read about a stranger’s. Matthew 6:34 says “Each day has enough troubles of it’s own.” I have watched so many friends and loved ones pass away; three just last year. I saw an interview with Mr. Swayze just recently. When questioned about his beliefs, he did not seem to be a Christian. His life seemed heavily invested in his work. The book of Ecclesiastes has quite a bit to say about that. It tells us that as a man comes into this world, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labors that he can carry in his hand. The writer of this book states “I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me.” I hope that Mr. Swayze was a Christian. Because the book of James tells us that we are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. So this is how I like to think of death. From the moment we are born, we start dying. So while we are living, we are all really dying. I believe that it is only after we die that we truly live. We do not pass from life to death, but rather from death into life. Rev. 21:4 “The dwelling of God is with men and He will live with them. They will be His people and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

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