I’m not sure why, but I woke up this morning thinking about my last day.
There is a day approaching in my life (and in your life for that matter) that we know is imminent, yet we cannot control. It’s that day you and I will assume room temperature, kick the bucket, bite the big one, buy the farm, and cash in our chips. From that day forward we’ll start pushing up daisies, sleeping with the fishes, and be compared with doornails. I’m talking about death.
We share a few things in common when it comes to that last day. We’re all headed toward it, but none of us know what day to circle on the calendar. It may come suddenly and without warning. It may come slowly and at an expected time. Or it may come today.
As I said, for some reason when I woke up this morning I was thinking about my last day. I wasn’t thinking about the weather forecast, the time of year, or what that day will feel like. I was thinking about the other side. There will be last words spoken by me on my last day. But there will also be first words. On the other side, way up yonder, when I meet my Maker, there will be first words spoken to me. What will the first words be on my last day?
For two millennia Christians have looked forward to the last day with the hopes of hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant.” These words were spoken by Jesus, in a parable about faithfulness, recorded in Matthew 25. I hope to hear these words as the first words spoken to me on my last day. These words will signal that the last day is only the first day of all the rest. They will be spoken to those who have been faithful, who have depended on God and taken responsibility in following Him and resting in His grace.
The overwhelming theme of the Matthew 25 parable is faithfulness. Not “greatness” or “perfection” or “have-it-all-figured-out-ness,” but faithfulness. Faithfulness starts with one minute, grows into an hour, blossoms into a day, then a week, a month, a year, a decade, and eventually a lifetime. It doesn’t mean being the best, winning the competition, or outpacing everyone until you’re on top of the world. It means knowing God, loving Him, and working to honor and glorify Him decision by decision and day by day. He’s given us the grace to be faithful through His Son Jesus Christ.
I hope to hear “Well done” on my last/first day. And that hope informs today. I’ve been given one November 19, 2011. In the midst of today there will be a myriad of ways in which I can be faithful to Jesus. Today I’m going to focus on today. If I do that my last day will take care of itself.