We live in a world of transition. Like it or not, the one “certain” thing we can depend on is “my life is going to change.” We can count on two things as we physically live: (1) “My life will change;” (2) “I likely cannot anticipate the most significant changes.” Our biggest adjustments in life commonly are never anticipated. The biggest adjustments usually are the “you must be kidding me” variety. People often say, “I did not see that coming,” for a reason. Though the unexpected seems to be normal, we still do not expect life to be unpredictable. Yet, it is constantly unpredictable.

The young adult says, “What would you do if 'such and such' happened?” That is a hypothetical question. “It could occur, but not to me.” Why? “The way I live (or use my life) prevents that from ever happening to me.”

As we staunchly set our feet in mid-life, we revise the statement a little. This situation becomes your situation. “What would you do?” With time and life passing, we often see situations happen to people we know well. As we quietly, internally realize “that could happen to me, too,” we keep a little distance between us and the undesirable. It is as if it could not happen to us if I do not talk about it. However, we all see enough of life to realize it does happen. It happens to those who truly seek to prevent it, and to those who never try to “prevent” anything.

However, in this period, we get very serious about prevention. We eat right. We make regular visits for checkups. We change our diets. We try to get enough exercise and sleep. “Pass me the blueberries, please.” “Can I give you a ride to the gym?” “How far did you jog today?” “What is your cholesterol count (or blood pressure, or heart rate, or ...)?”

Then we reach the age that the undesirable happens all around us. It happens to those who take care of their health and those who do not, to those who exercise and those who do not, to those who eat right and those who do not, to those who use life well and those who do not. We hear the professionals change their minds about what is healthy and what is not--every two to five years.

Then, at last, we finally admit what we hid from for years: “Nobody lives forever” (physically). The longer we live, the more physical death we see. Like it or not, we know we will die, too. That is okay as a hypothetical. Yet, the more likely it becomes, the more sobering it becomes.

Good news for those in Christ! Though this physical life is shorter than the prefix “pre,” “... Godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance. For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.” 1 Timothy 4:8-10

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 2 March 2006

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