LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am. Psalm 39:4;
Many years ago I came across an insurance salesman who in an attempt to make me see reasons why I needed to buy some life assurance policies looked straight to my eyes and said: ‘Sir assuming you died yesterday, what do you think would have become of your wife, your children and other dependants of yours now?’ While trying to figure out the implications of that assumption and what might have likely happened if the assumption actually turned out to be a reality, I was compelled to give a listening ear to what the insurance salesman had to say!
Although the salesman’s sole aim was to make me see reasons why I needed to put in place certain forms of financial securities and protections that would appreciably guarantee sustenance and peace of mind of my estate in case the unexpected happens, however, the message I got from that experience was far beyond that of preparing for or securing my earthly future or those of my estate.
The reality is that the end is bound to come someday but what we did with our lives would determine what happens to us in eternity. This brings to my mind a story I once heard about a man called Alfred Nobel from whom the globally famous Nobel’s Prize evolved.
Alfred Nobel in his lifetime was said to be involved in discovery and mass production of dynamites which then was a major instrument of destruction during wars. It happened that his obituary was published on the pages of the newspaper by some major national dailies while he was still alive! This was done in error as it was his brother that actually died!
That publication of Alfred’s alleged death provided an opportunity for a lot of people from different quarters to express their opinion about the life that he lived. To so many, Alfred did not deserve to be alive because he was someone who reaped so much fortune from destruction of human lives given his roles in mass production of destructive weapons and materials; to several others he was anything but a blessing to his generation as no benefits or good thing could be traced to the life he lived.
Alfred Nobel actually read his own obituary, heard people’s comments and conclusion about the life he had lived! If it was actually true that he died, he would have gone down in history as one whose life, rather than being a blessing was a curse! This stunning experience brought a drastic change to the life Alfred Nobel chose to live afterwards. He subsequently committed all the fortunes he had made to promoting peace globally and supporting the masses. This saw to the establishment of Alfred Nobel Prize Award which is meant to promote peace, excellence and love all over the world till today!
None of us may ever have the opportunity of reading our own obituaries as did Alfred Nobel which culminated in his decision to redirect the life that he lived; but the reality is that our biographies are being written now by the lives we live today and not by someone else of us after death!
The scripture says ‘O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end’ Deuteronomy 32:29
Beyond living a meaningful life, the whole of our lives are meant to prepare us for timeless eternity. How we live today will determine our fate in eternity. Wisdom requires therefore that we pay attention, not only to the way we live everyday of our lives, but also to our preparation for the eternal home. Life is actually meant to prepare for eternity and not to reap goodies or gather fortunes and riches of the world that last but for a moment.
It is extremely difficult to correct the errors or failures of the past; as a man that is beyond us, but our Heavenly Father has promised to pardon and give us a fresh start all over again even now! Just like Alfred Nobel did, we can begin to re-write the stories of our lives by redirecting our thoughts, energy, visions, aspirations, will, purpose, pursuits, ambitions and resources at those things that have eternal values. What happens behind us after death is not as important as what lies ahead of us in eternity! Provision for earthly financial protection and security for us and our dependants is not wrong, but timeless eternity deserves more attention.
May the LORD help us to redirect our lives to live for His glory and praise alone now and always. Amen.