But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:4-6 | ESV)
Knowing how to end is one of my biggest challenges in writing. The ‘when’ of finishing usually works itself out; it’s the quality of closing that remains in question. The same may be said of human existence. These days I find myself face to face, face to back, and face to knee with my own physical decline and inevitable mortality. Just last week I was down on my knees installing cement pavers around our new home, complaining to my grandson Josh how I had shortened the lifespan of my knees by wasting my childhood pretending to be a horse. He promptly suggested I would be walking with a cane by the time he was his brother’s age (that will be in only five years), then added, “if you’re still alive.” There’s nothing like the brutal honesty of a child to set one to thinking. Frankly, I understand better now more than ever why my mother said so often that she wanted Jesus to come again so that she wouldn’t have to die. She was secure in her relationship with Christ; she simply preferred to bypass the finality of ending. I wish that she could have done so and to be honest—so do I.
I can truthfully say that it’s not the dying that disturbs, it is the fear of not fully living while I’m still alive. “We must be careful with our lives, for Christ’s sake, because it would seem that they are the only lives we are going to have in this puzzling and perilous world, and so they are very precious and what we do with them matters enormously”(Buechner). There is not much I can do about the weakening of my knees or the chronic catch in my lower back, but I do have within reach the ability to write my own epitaph. What happened or didn’t happen yesterday pales in significance with what I do right now. According to Sovereign God, every breath is taken in “the fullness of time.” This life does count, and this very moment matters. The living of this day should consume each of us, not remorse over the past or fear of failing to have tomorrow; the only way to know we will end well is by fully living for Christ right now.