We attended a funeral yesterday. Sadly, it wasn’t Audrey’s first funeral, but this time she understood that something very sad had happened. Justin’s step-dad’s brother, Uncle Ronnie, passed away last Friday. He went to the hospital for surgery and never woke up – he was only 63 years old.

I only met him a handful of times, but it was obvious by the turnout at his wake and funeral that he had touched the lives of many. He was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and soon-to-be great-grandfather. Watching his mother grieve the loss of her child, was heartwrenching. All I could think and pray was that I would never have to see one of my children buried. Rationally, I know that I will one day leave my physical body and enter the gates of heaven, but I seldom think about it or dwell on that reality. Days like yesterday don’t give you any choice but to do just that.

There’s something about the human spirit, though, that just astonishes me in times of grief. Amidst the sorrow and tears, there’s always the celebration of what was and the hope for what is to come. Uncle Ronnie is in heaven, this his family knows without a doubt. What a comfort that is, what peace that knowledge gives. I’m glad that when I go, my family will have that same comfort – a promise of my eternal happiness beyond our ability to understand. And, I’m glad I have the same knowledge about them. When you think about it, that’s really the best gift we could ever give our loved-ones. The knowledge that we are redeemed and will one day be restored to the perfect life God intended for us in the very beginning.

The promise of eternity in heaven doesn’t change the fact that we’re given the gift of life here on this earth to put our fingerprint on the lives of those around us. If death teaches us anything, it’s that we have to live every day like it’s our last.

Sometime during my college years, I wrote the following personal mission statements. They remind me why I’m here and what God has called me to do.
– To wake each and every morning filled with the promise of a brand new day overflowing with possibilities to live as God’s child and to be a blessings and witness to others.
– To seize the moment and take notice of all the blessings, goodness, and beauty that God has granted me.
– To care for my body, mind and spirit. Always remembering that God created me with a specific plan for my life.

There’s a beautiful song by Mark Schultz called “Time That is Left.” If you haven’t heard it, you need to. Here’s a link that will let you hear a short audio clip. I’ll leave you with the lyrics because they wrap us this post better than I ever could.

What will you do with the time that’s left?
Will you live it all with no regret?
Will they say that you loved till your final breath?
What will you do with the time that’s left?
Oh, Hallelujah! Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen

What will you do with the time that’s past?
Oh and all the pain that seems to last?
Can you give it to Jesus and not look back?
What will you do with the time that’s past?
Oh, Hallelujah! Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Amen

What will He say when your time has come?
When He takes you into His arms of love?
With tears in His eyes will He say well done?
What will He say when your time has come?
Oh, Hallelujah! Oh, Hallelujah! Hallelujah!