“And do not turn aside after empty things that cannot profit or deliver, for they are empty.......only fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart.” 1 Samuel 12:21, 24 (ESV)
There are so many things in everyday life that call for our attention and time; important things essential to life and other things that make life more enjoyable. As a preacher’s kid and now a pastor’s wife, it has been my privilege to talk with many dying friends that were waiting their imminent departure date. What were they interested in? Where did the conversation take us? What would they do if they could live life over again or given more time? Changes, corrections or direction they might take?
These dying friends were no longer interested in the stock market, political scene, their house décor, income bracket, achievements or social standing. None of this was going with them even if they had given much time and energy to it. Life had so quickly come to an end and an inventory of what really mattered became illuminated.
Samuel spoke the above scripture as his rule of prophet was ending and the appointing of the first King of Israel was happening. A man of experience warning God’s people to focus on things they can take with them rather than leave behind.
So what do my home-going friends talk about: God and people. This is what Jesus talked about in Matthew 22:37-39, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Especially at the end of life, the understanding of God’s Word is so realized in these two great commandments. Investments in these two areas are eternal and will not be left behind even as you temporarily say good-bye.
Remember, God’s investment plan, will take you places unimaginable, will not crash and has eternal dividends in the presence of our eternal King.
Pastor Ruth Kaunley