“Look at the numbers on my new watch,” Gerald said. “Nine years, 6 months, 12 days. That’s how much time I have left.” Needless to say, we all had a puzzled look trying to decipher the hidden meaning of his words.
I was in Atlanta, GA, for Walk Thru the Bible Ministries InstructorFest 2015, a gathering of WTB instructors. After flying in from various parts of the country, half a dozen of us were standing at the MARTA station on Wednesday afternoon waiting for a shuttle to take us to our hotel.
Over the course of the past two years, Gerald had cancer of the tongue. Surgery removed a portion and chemo treated the rest. He came through, returned to ministry, and is pastoring a church in Iowa.
With the hopes, plans, and dreams he has for ministry, Gerald explained that he asked God to allow him to live until 73 years old in order to complete them. He set his watch to count down to his 73rd birthday to remind him to live with intentionality.
Sunday evening, I received word that Brian had entered heaven unexpectedly. Brian lived with passion and invested in junior high students, including my own children. He invested his life in eternity and is now reaping the rewards.
While I was in Russia last month, I taught Psalm 90 to the two groups I was with. The theme of the psalm Moses wrote at the end of his life is found in verse 12, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” After conducting countless funerals over the course of 40 years in the wilderness, Moses understood well about the brevity of life. So he asked God to give him the wisdom to know how to live properly.
Gerald and Brian are not much older than me. I need to learn from their example and live my life with purpose and intentionality. I want to invest in the things that will count for eternity.