I don’t know how to tell you this, but you are not going to live forever.
Someday, you will draw your final breath and close your eyes for the last time.
And I hate to add insult to injury, but eventually your name will be spoken for the last time too.
Your name and your legacy will be swept into the tide and will be lost in the ocean of time.
This is true no matter who you are or how you live.
It is easy to ignore and forget these truths. But such denial only produces a life of anxiety, anger, violence, pride and wastefulness.
So it is imperative that we be intentional about remembering and embracing our own mortality.
The clock ticks on, and the grave draws closer, and we do well to remember that.
Don’t get me wrong. Even though this is all a sobering thought, remembering our own mortality does not mean we should become miserable and depressed.
Nor do I advocate that we party hard, quit our jobs, or try to find meaning and significance in hedonistic pleasure.
The thought of our own death often produces one of these or the other, either despair or debauchery.
But there is another option. It is the option to accept our mortality and yet carry on with joy and in the fear of the Lord.
Let us not ignore that we are mortals; our days are numbered. We are creatures, not the Creator. But neither let us allow our creatureliness to strip us of our joy or our obedience.
The book of Ecclesiastes gives us counsel for embracing our finitude (Eccl. 9:7-12).
We are taught to savor and enjoy the things which do not last: the apples which will spoil if not eaten right away; the children who grow up so quickly; the aspen which are golden but a few days per year; and the friends who may not be around as long as we would like.
The world is full of good and beautiful gifts from God—food, wine, marriage, flowers, laughter, and good company.
But we must enjoy these gifts right away because they will not last forever.
Neither will they wait for us to get around to them later. And one day, we won’t be around to get to them at all.
So pause, and savor the gifts of God.
Stop pretending you have an unlimited supply of tomorrows and can enjoy these things later.
Stop pretending that your current project, conflict, or drama is of cosmic or eternal significance.
Remember that you are a creature, you have boundaries, you have limitations, and yet God in his grace has given you good things to enjoy here and now.
When you remember that you are in fact only human, you actually become more fully human.
And as you become more fully human, you come more closely to resemble the truly human one, Jesus of Nazareth.
For here is a Man whose whole life was lived with an eye toward his own grave.
He embraced it, and yet carried on with joy and in the fear of the Lord.
May we do the same.
Parker Bullard is the Senior Minister of the Poncha Springs Church of Christ.