Opinion – Faith in Waipā – By Murray Smith – Senior Leader, Bridges Church.
In life we grade things in degrees of importance. Naturally we give things we consider most pressing our attention over less important things that can wait!
For example, if you’ve just put through a trundler full of groceries at the supermarket checkout and your card keeps declining as a long queue waits behind you, navigating that present dilemma carries more immediate importance than contemplating house re-decorating.
Life has a way of throwing certain critical moments at us which demand a decision about what is ‘most important’.
Our family was holidaying on Waiheke Island when, as a very young child I fell from a considerable height – head-first onto concrete. I landed at my grandfather’s feet sustaining significant head injuries. In a life-threatening situation, judging what is important and what the next few strategic steps should be is essential. I’m grateful my family made the right calls in those moments that ensued…with no transport at hand, my mother scooped me up and ran barefoot on an unsealed metal road to a local beach to meet the amphibious float plane which had been summoned from Auckland to get me to hospital where emergency care awaited my arrival.
An inevitability of human experience is dying. There is nothing more important in that moment, than to be ready.
I don’t mean having a funeral plan, an insurance policy or any similar type of advance plan, irrespective of their worth. The plan I am referring to is actually being prepared for death itself and for life beyond the grave.
Human beings are eternal. Death is not the end of our existence. The proposal that when you die, the lights go out and that’s it, is simply not true.
Credible accounts abound of people thought to be clinically dead but having been subsequently ‘revived’, relating a common thread of ‘out of the body’ experiences. I knew an electrician who suffered a massive electric shock. Attending medical crew believed they had ‘lost’ him. My friend related afterwards, that he’d watched on, looking down from the emergency room ceiling observing frantic efforts in ‘bringing him back’.
Ancient peoples, like the Egyptians innately sensed the next life. Convinced of eternity they tried in misdirected ways to prepare for it including heaping possessions around the deceased. To arrest decaying of the body, the Egyptians developed embalming. Surprisingly, the brain was one of the few organs the Egyptians did not try to preserve whereas the heart was considered the core of the person, so it was left in the body for the afterlife.
Being prepared for death and eternity is a matter of crucial importance beyond every other consideration we make in life. Anything you gain or achieve, pales into meaninglessness if you fail to plan for this eventuality.
Jesus posed a profound question, “How does it benefit a person, if they gain the whole world, yet suffer the loss of their soul?”
He alone offers total assurance of eternal life and unsurpassed peace about our destination beyond the grave. Settling this matter is crucial.
Less important things can wait.