Illustrious – Life and Death

If my memory serves correctly, I had the privilege of sleeping in before going to College Chapel in McClain the morning of 9/11/01. I may have had class before actually, I don’t have any idea. When a world-changing event like that happens, all the details kind of fade to black.

This past week was the 11th anniversary of that horrific day and it was interesting to see all my friends and acquaintances post on Facebook about where they were and how they reacted. I remember initially reacting with disbelief, when one of my friends told me what had happened before chapel started. Later came tears, deep sadness, and helplessness as I watched TV coverage from my apartment in Lamp Post Dorm.

Major events like 9/11 make details fade to black by putting everything into perspective. What is important? What am I living for? What am I investing my time, energy, and money in?

While it should be a perspective we habitually embrace, often it takes epic events to jolt us out of our comfortable routines and easy lives so we can consider what’s important in the grand scheme of things.

Paul certainly had this perspective, sitting in a Roman jail cell, facing exoneration or execution. Writing to the Philippians he penned the profound but simple words – “To live is Christ, and to die is gain”. When we keep that perspective, we will live with more courage and less distractions, less fear and more power.

When confronted with the realities of the frail nature of life and the certainty of death, is that how we will respond?

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