I recently celebrated my birthday. This year in particular was both reflective and cathartic for me because my mother passed away at the tender age of 42; she never made it to her 43rd birthday. Over the course of the past year, as I inched closer and closer to 43, I kept reminding myself that when my mom was 42 – she passed away. I would think, “Wow, she was so young, had so much more life to live.” She left behind children, siblings, parents and dreams unfulfilled. I found myself evaluating all the things that I still wanted to accomplish before I depart this dear earth, and praying that I live to be 100. My heart would ache for my mom thinking about all the things she never got to accomplish and all the wonderful life events that she has not witnessed. This made me stop and thank God for simply giving me another day.
Being that today is Good Friday, the day that we – Christians commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary, my thoughts for the past couple of weeks shifted and focused on the life, death and resurrection of our Lord and savior. He lived 33 years and his ministry spanned three and a half years. During this time we know that he went about preaching, teaching, and performing miracles. A ministry from beginning to end that lasted three and a half years! His life and teachings framed the foundation of our Christian faith, our sacrificial lamb – seated at the right hand of God (Luke 22:69) making intercession for us. This is good news. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. another example of a life cut short died at the age of 39 – yet his work, his message, his memory is just as alive today as it was when he was assassinated in 1968. Two great examples of men who did not have longevity of life – their careers and ministries did not span decades, but both made lasting impressions on humanity and the world.
The take-away for me – for us should be that it does not matter the number of years that we live – what matters is the manner in which we live our lives and the impact we made before we left this earth. What sort of legacy will you leave behind? Make every hour, every day and every year count!