The End of Life

Commentary

This poem is about the “end” or purpose of life, and whether or not we can achieve that purpose when our numbered days are few.

We are not Jesus Christ. But God invites us to identify with Him very, very deeply. I suppose He’s pleased for us to compare ourselves with Jesus when pondering the very little time that remains to any of us.

Jesus began His public ministry around age 30, and lived another 3 or so years. So, he began his public ministry ten-elevenths through his earthly life. Imagine all the ways Jesus could have faithfully reflected God the Father, all the healing, preaching, and loving he could have done with a few more years! But I have to assume that three was enough.

How About Me?
The amount of character development and spiritual growth that I have experienced over the last three years astounds me. That’s not bragging. In fact, it seems more a sad admission of how many decades I have wasted than anything else! This development leaves me suspecting–or hoping–that God has something surprising for me to do with the time that remains in my life. How could that be? How could anything a 61-year old man (62 this summer) do that matters in Eternity?

I don’t know. He loves me deeply. He wants the best for me. As old as I am, He’s still my older brother. He says that in one of my favorite passages:

For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering. For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.

Hebrews 2:10-12

The Background Photo
For several years now, my most profound thinking has happened while I was on long hikes, largely near or around White Rock Lake. The other day, I was thinking about what I have written in the poem just as my hike reached the area pictured in the background photo. I took the photo initially thinking of using it to say this:

Here’s the path
That I in former days,
On longer walks,
Often saw
And wondered ’bout.

It’s more familiar now
Than what I knew
When time and strength
Had bound me
To my former ways.

But then I wrote a better(?) poem about “The End of Life,” and needed a background photo!

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3 Comments

  1. Thank you, Brad, for sharing this poem (and prayer). Psalm 90 comes to mind: Lord “teach us to number our days… ”

  2. Great reflections on the latter part of life. I am 57 and Tim is 66. We know God intervenes to save us in more ways than one. Currently, we are driving through the majestic, snow-capped mountains of Colorado. Having met many interesting people on and off the slopes of Beaver Creek, we constantly pray that God be glorified in our midst. This is His Will so we thank Him ahead of time and along the way. The Holy Spirit is working in us. Thankful for our Grace Bible Church friends and family in Houston.

    1. That’s all so good to hear. Susan and I envy your Colorado trip. It has been too long since we have taken our usual vacation there. I especially love seeing someone recognizing that “God intervenes to save us in more ways than one.” Speaking of the Holy Spirit working in us…. The “life of my mind” is extremely important to me, but I recently recognized that I want HIM to direct my interests. If the pattern continues, my poetry will follow suit.

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