When I was a kid in Columbus, I had this favorite shirt. You know the kind where you take it off and throw it in the wash right away so it will be ready to wear the next day. The shirt was a simple design. It was white with a picture of two high-top sneakers on it. Out of the sneakers were coming little puffs of smoke. Under the sneakers was written, "...in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye." The shirt was a reference to 1 Corinthians 15:52 where Paul writes about that last day when all of this earth will come to an end and we'll make our transition to the new heaven and new earth.
I remember the first time I saw that shirt. I remember the thoughts it stirred in my imagination as I read the verse listed under those sneakers. In that moment. In that split second when everything is changed and everything that has burdened us here exists no more. That point where every tie to this planet is severed with a finality that relieves us of every thought but where we are headed.
I can only imagine what that moment must be like. I can tell you that I look forward to it. With an ever growing sense of expectancy, I long for that moment when I'll see Jesus face-to-face. I know with all my heart that there will be such peace, such joy.
I guess that's why I have told people for the last 6 years that I really don't mourn so much for Sarah and Josh. Do I miss them? Of course! Incredibly. Josh's birthday was just two weeks ago. He would have been 8 years old. If he were here, I would be well on my way to coaching yet another baseball team (selfish dreaming I know. Indulge me.) But I don't mourn the fact that Josh and Sarah have experienced what I long for. I mourn for me, for days that I don't want to get out of bed. I mourn for bills and politics and broken relationships and constant bad news on the TV. Is it any wonder that the longer we live here, the more I desire to be home?
I've said numerous times that I envy them both. Josh never had to wear braces, eat his spinach, take out the trash or ask a girl on a date. Sarah's wardrobe never gets dirty so there's no need for a wash day. Instead, they are understanding the eternal joy that comes from living in perfect relationship with God. And that, my friend, is never bad.
I don't recall ever having done what I'm about to do in this blog. I'm sorry I never really have. But I feel a need to do it now. I have lots of readers who check in on this blog from all over the country. You come from all walks of life. Some of you are family. Others come from the health care industry where I travel and speak. Many are new friends from churches where I have spoken. Still others are old friends from churches where I have served.
If you don't know about what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, I'd love to share more with you about that. There's far more to this life than what you experience every day. In fact, this life, however long it may be, is just preparation for what's to come. The question is not is there life after death, the question is where will you spend it? And the answer is not found in what you know but Who you know. Email me. Respond to this blog. I'd love to talk with you more, answer your questions and lead you to find some of those answers you may be seeking. There truly is more to this life than just living and dying.
I often get asked about the peace I found after Sarah and Josh died. I didn't find it then. It was a peace I have known since I started my relationship with Jesus at age 8. It simply was the peace that carried me through one of the worst times I've ever had to endure. And I thank God daily that I had that peace when life came crashing in. You can have it too. I hope you'll reach out to find it.