Note: I’ve always been one to analyze my life in great detail, to wonder if I’m making a difference in the world, to ponder life’s greatest mysteries and questions until my brain hurts. So lately I’ve been thinking about what I would say or do if I found out I only had one week left to live, and I began writing a series of blog posts along those lines. This is part 1: Living Will and Testament.
My Living Will and Testament has nothing to do with my earthly possessions or whether or not I’d like to be put on life support. Rather, it is one word: Jesus. I want to leave you with Jesus.
I don’t care if you’re straight or gay, black or white, fat or skinny, sweet as honey or mean as a snake…you need Jesus. I desperately need Him. I’ve made some horrible mistakes in my life, and still He was there. I’ve had really good seasons of seeking to make an impact on the world, and I’ve had really selfish seasons of looking inward while seeking to fill emptiness with my own desires. Still, He was there. I’ve been hurt, unbearably at times, again and again throughout the course of my life. I’ve also hurt others, sometimes unknowingly and sometimes, shamefully, with full knowledge. And still . . . He was there.
Several of my friends think religion is a crock and church is a waste of time. That’s okay. I’ve been there, and I wouldn’t try to convince you to go to church anyway. I don’t care if you ever step foot in a church building; I care if you know Jesus. I’ve had my share of doubts. I have some right now. But I can still declare that because of what I do know about God, I can trust Him for what I don’t know. And I know that without Christ, I am nothing.
When I think about the person whose character I most want to emulate, it is Jesus. He loves fiercely. He gives selflessly. He is always willing to be misunderstood for the sake of Love (see: woman at the well). He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He forgives freely and without condemnation. He gives hope to the hopeless.
When I think about whether or not I do emulate Christ, I feel like a hopeless failure. But then He’s still there, offering me hope.
I don’t care how many programs your church has, how many revivals you’ve attended, how many tattoos you have, whether you love beer or think alcohol is of the devil, if you know all the words to Amazing Grace, or if you listen to Lady Gaga. None of these things matter in the big picture. Do you know Jesus? Do you build relationships with people in your world and impact them to know God better? That dream job you want or that book you’re dying to publish or that song you can’t wait to sing on stage? They all mean nothing if they are without Christ.
So I would want to leave you with this: don’t judge Christ based on what you see in me–look to Him and evaluate His track record. Read His words (you know, the red ones) and give Him a chance. See what He is really all about, and let yourself be loved in a way that nobody else can love you. He has been the only constant in my life. I’ve climbed the heights of joy and I’ve sunk into the depths of despair, and He has been the only one who does not change as the shifting shadows. Know that I’ve tried, and sometimes I’ve done really well, but I’ve also screwed up a lot. All you see that’s good in me is Christ. Apart from Him, I have no good thing.
So as a favor to me, in my fictitious last week of life, seek Jesus. Nothing else matters.
PS – my earthly possessions? If I have something you want, it’s yours. Divide the rest up among those who have needs.
PPS – life support? No, thank you. I’m ready to see Jesus face to face.