Craig Wilson’s story in USA Today was thought-provoking. It was entitled: Get Your Party Started Before The Party’s Over. (1)
Wilson started his newspaper column like this: “Every now and then, a news story will stop me cold. It happened the other day when I heard about some poor guy who was killed when a truckload of lumber tipped over and fell on his car. The only good news is that it happened so fast he couldn’t have known what hit him. It was a classic case of one minute you’re sharing morning coffee with your wife, the next minute you’re dead.” He cited other examples of parties coming to an abrupt end.
Wilson seemed amused at people who are so afraid of dying they are afraid to travel or enjoy life. He, himself wants to die during a vacation. Says he: “Personally, I’ve always thought dying on vacation was the better way to go.” But my question to him is: “Go where?”
Mr. Wilson said: “The obituary would be so much more exotic if I fell off a camel in Morocco, say, than just “Craig Wilson died at his home in Washington, D.C., after a long illness.” He believes a tanned and rested body would be nicer to view during the calling hours.
On one hand Wilson seems to mock people who are worried about death because, as he says, its inevitable. But deep down, the columnist may be masking an underlying fear of the party coming to an end. If there was no fear and no worry – why would sudden deaths stop him cold in his tracks as he mentioned in his opening line? Why not just brush sudden deaths off as another party that has ended?
The reality is – God has placed eternity in our hearts. (Ecclesiastes 3:11), When Jesse our Golden Retriever died – the party was over. That was the end of the dog. But human beings are different. Six feet under or cremated remains in an urn is not the end of you or me. Death is a passage from time into eternity. From the temporal to the eternal.
People who try to deny life beyond death have to say it loudly and frequently to drown out the persistent whisper of eternity placed within their heart by God Himself. When they go to a funeral home to pay their respects – they don’t go to see their loved one. They themselves say they are going to see the remains of the departed relative. As much as they may deny the reality of eternity, their words acknowledge the real person has left – gone some where.
Mr. Wilson will be going somewhere too. He’s dead right. The parties in this life will come to an end – but then what? I believe God is speaking to Mr. Wilson through the deaths that have stopped him cold. God wants Mr. Wilson to prepare for eternity so an eternal tragedy can be averted.
I am praying that Craig Wilson will get right with God before his party ends. Craig, God has made a way for you to go to Heaven. When Christ died on the Cross, He was paying for your sins. The Bible says: “Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6. “Christ died for our sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:3. Jesus said: “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden (with sins), and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28. Nothing less than a personal acceptance of Jesus Christ as Saviour can prepare you for eternity.
It’s so true what you said Peter. Even after we have left this world, there’s more to come. A question was asked in a Sunday School class, “What is a soul?”. A very bright young boy said, “Basically, it’s you without your body”. And he was right. We also need to remember that our souls are immortal and they will end in one of two places: heaven or hell.