It never has been. It never will be. Because we never know when God will call us home. And that is one call that we cannot refuse to answer. No matter who we are.
We cannot say, “Wait a minute, Lord, I haven’t finished this or that. Call me back tomorrow.”
We can’t refuse to answer that call and let Him leave a voicemail message we can return a day or so later when we’re not so busy.
We cannot say, “But I have to make things right with this or that person before I go. I just haven’t had time…”
We don’t even get the chance to say, “But Lord, why me, and why now? Life is so good, and I have so much more to enjoy here. I’m not ready. I need to wait awhile.”
When God calls us home, He means it. There’s no discussion. That is the one thing He tells us that He gives us no choice but to obey.
His commandments? Of course He wants us to obey them. How many of us obey them all, even though He told us to? I guarantee each of us has broken at least one, or more, in our lifetime. And probably will again before we’re called home.
And His commandment to love one another as He has loved us? That’s tough, and also one we’ve all broken. We have free will to do anything we want here on earth, and none of us can say we ALWAYS obey His word.
Not one of us.
But when He calls us home on that day and hour only He knows, then it’s over for us here on earth. We can’t come back and make things right with those we’ve hurt, or those who’ve hurt us.
And for those who are left behind, we also have to deal not only with our feelings of loss, but our own feelings of regret for things said and unsaid. For plans made and never followed through. For time we wanted to spend together, but never got around to it.
We’ve all heard the saying “live each day as if it’s our last one here on earth.” But do any of us ever do that? I know I certainly don’t. I’ll be the first to admit it.
Our last day could easily be today. We have no way of knowing.
The other day I read a story about a man who dropped dead at his daughter’s wedding. Right after their father-daughter dance. No warning. And he certainly had had a few more plans of his own for the rest of that day.
A high school friend’s twin sister died unexpectedly a few days before Christmas. She hadn’t shown up for work that day, and when worried co-workers went to her apartment, they found her dead. Again, no warning. She had a full calendar of plans for the next three weeks, both for work and in her personal life. She hadn’t been planning on leaving.
The other night I looked at my Facebook and saw a friend of ours who had years ago moved to Israel to live his dream had passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack. Again, there was no warning. His daughter is a few days away from delivering his third grandchild, whom he will never meet here on this earth. His wife announced the event in five profoundly sad words: “My precious husband is gone.” I can hear her tears.
Yonatan, dear friend, you inspired this writing. You will be sorely missed by all who knew you. By all who were blessed to have eaten one of your delicious home-cooked meals, enjoyed the wines from your vineyard, and marveled at your expertise as a tour guide in your beloved Israel. May God continue to watch over those you loved and left behind.
No, tomorrow is not promised.
So what are you doing with your today? There may not be a tomorrow.