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Life is short – make it count

The fact that life is short and our end unpredictable is underscored multiple times in the Bible. For example there’s 1 Peter 1:24: “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall…”   My Wheaton College class of …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
The fact that life is short and our end unpredictable is underscored multiple times in the Bible. For example there’s 1 Peter 1:24: “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall…”
 
My Wheaton College class of 1980 contained two remarkable women who went on to become judges. Cheryl Smith Aleman teamed up with Butch Maltby to win national debate tournaments. She later became a circuit judge in Miami.
 
Brenda Burnham Unruh was a judge in Ohio. “‘Her faith and her professionalism as a judge, as a wife and mother were all consistent,” said her pastor.
 
Both these women were strong in their intellect, faith, and conviction. They knew how to stand up against injustice. They were pillars of their respective communities. They made a difference and lived well.
 
Cheryl died three months ago and Brenda passed away this past Sunday morning. Both had cancer.
 
Around the world thousands died in the Japanese tsunami. But for me, the death of these two classmates is more of a shock. Death is always most shocking when it is personal.
 
It makes me ask, “What am I doing to make a difference? Is what I’m living for worth what Christ died for?”

Comments (10)

  • What a loss. I agree, when death strikes a personal chord, it resonates in a somber and disonent way. And serves as a powerful reminder of the question you ask. You are a disciple. What you are doing does make a difference. Peace.

  • Seth,

    Thank you for daily chiding us on to excellence and a better way! We get caught up in carpools & soccer games and lose sense of the bigger Kingdom picture.

    G

  • Thank you Seth! You are a constant encouragement and you spur me on in my faith! Keep pushing the Body to be more like Jesus.

  • wow, very small world…my mom and dad grew up in youth group with brenda– we are still close family friends. it’s quite a loss for their family, the community at our church, and our city. thanks for writing this.

  • as always, you continue to see the Light in hard places and see the beauty in the lives of those who love others.

  • Right on! Life IS short….I’m thinking tonight I’d rather die with a long list of failures instead of a long list of good intentions. With failure, at least I took some risks and tried. Thanks Seth.

  • I am teaching an adult Sunday School class and our topic is “One Month to Live – Thirty days to a No-Regrets Life” by Kerry and Chris Shook. The challenge is to live the next 30 days as if it were your last; what would you change; each day we ask ourselves – would I do that if I only had 30 days left to live? It is about how short life is – We know what day we were born, we do not know the end date but on our tombstone there is a dash between both dates – we control how we live that dash. There are four principles: Live passionately, Love intentionally, Learn Humbly, and Leave Boldly. The whole basis is – if we can live like it is our last 30 days on earth, why can’t we live like this for the rest of our lives. Stop waiting for ‘someday’ and start making each day really matter – live life with no regrets.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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