Expiration Dates

E. date

For the last few weeks, I have been thinking about Expiration Dates and the fact that each one of us has one. I see each of us as having an Expiration Date stamped on the back of our necks at the time of our birth. It’s not a visible mark, mind you. You know, one that we can see if we hold a mirror up to the back of our necks. It is invisible and has been stamped there by our Creator.  No one else can see it. He alone knows which day will be our final day. 

The problem is that none of us knows our Expiration Date. If we did, we would live quite differently than we do. Most of the time, we live as if we have all the time in the world, but we don’t, our time is limited here on Earth.  Intrinsically we know this fact but it is hard to incorporate it into our daily lives. How can we live in such a way that we keep our eyes on the Eternal and not on the transient?

If you are like me, it will take intentionality in order to do it. I must remind myself daily that this could be my last  day and I need to do whatever I am supposed to do today. If I live that way, I will be ready when my Expiration Date arrives.

What about you? How do you keep your mortality in mind so that you can keep your priorities straight? Let me know.

“So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12

Forgetting Christ at Christ-mas

pexels-photo-414544.jpegHave you ever been busy, I mean really busy at Christmas? I know I have. I have been running around buying presents, wrapping them, sending cards, going to parties, and preparing to travel. I remember several years ago when I was in the middle of a flurry of activity, there was a small Voice in the back of my mind. What was the Voice saying? It was saying, “What about Me?”

I didn’t have an answer for the Voice. In the midst of my activity, I had forgotten Christ….at Christmas, no less. I hadn’t really forgotten him, mind you. I had just pushed him to the very back of my to-do list. Back then, I would usually be trying to “shoehorn” him into my schedule. I remember thinking, “Can we make it to church on Christmas Eve or should we just skip it? After all, we are SO busy.”

This year, as I was thinking about the problem, a verse came into my mind. “In as much as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it for me.” Was this really the answer to remembering Christ at Christmas? Could it be as simple as remembering the poor, the least of his brethren? 

Within the context of this verse, Jesus is talking about visiting the sick and those in prison, clothing the naked, giving water to the thirsty and feeding the hungry. He says when we do these things, we are actually doing them for him. Would focusing on the less fortunate really put Christ at the forefront this Christmas?

I think so. When I take my mind off of my stuff, my agenda, my to-do list and focus on those who don’t even have the basic necessities, I am in fact remembering Christ at Christmas. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. After all, he spent his ministry focusing on those that needed him: the poor, the sick, the sinful and the disenfranchised. Those were his priorities. If I will adopt his priorities and seek to serve others, I will be placing him at the top of my list, not the bottom. Then I won’t have to worry about forgetting him at Christmas.