I remember years ago when my children were young and we used to pack them up at Christmastime for a visit to Grandma and Grandpa. We had a wonderful time, the children were pampered and spoiled too much with the gifts and special foods, but it was a time of great memories. On this particular Christmas week, however, it ended in great sadness.
As we returned to our home some four hours distant from the grandparents, we passed through a small town near our home on New Year's afternoon and saw a large funeral underway at a local funeral home. On the porch of the home stood a woman who we recognized as the mother of my daughter's favorite babysitter. I tried to draw her attention away from the scene but, alas, she noticed. She would not let it go, so when we got home, I placed a call to a friend who also knew the family well and was informed that the teenage girl, so full of life and joy, had been killed New Year's Eve in a car accident. It seems that the driver had been drinking and this precious girl was sitting in someone's lap at the time of the accident, thrown from the car since she had no seat belt to protect her. She died instantly.
I thought of this the other day as I was driving down a rural road in the area where I live. I was running into town to finish some Christmas shopping and saw a beautiful young doe dead by the side of the road. Just like that young girl, a living thing so full of energy and life that was bounding along when suddenly it was struck by a car or hit by a rifle shot which wasn't an immediate kill. It ran as far as the road siding before falling and being taken by death.
About three hours later on my way home, when I passed the same location there were a flock of buzzards finishing off the carcass which was almost gone except for some fur and bones. And I thought to myself, how fleeting life is. One minute we're here and the next minute we're gone and then there is nothing left but memories.
I think this brings up two valid points, both of which lead to a parallel realization. First, we need to live each day of our life as if it is the last day of our life. If we do this, we will be the best we can be and we will leave memories and a lasting impression on our loved ones which will be comforting to them whenever they think of us. And second, if we do live this way, we will recognize readily that the only way we can be our best is to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. If we do that and accept his invitation to live for Him in all that we do, when this life on earth ends we will enter a new and much greater life, Eternal Life with the Father and the Son.
Think about this as we celebrate the birth of the Baby Jesus for that is why he came, to save us for our sins. God bless you all and enjoy the fun and excitement of Christmastime. And please, be careful out there, won't you?