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Expiration Date

The magazine section of Saturday’s paper included a fascinating article on life expectancy, and included a link to http://www.livingto100.com. On the website, I completed a “life expectancy calculator.” It asked questions about diet and exercise… home life and family… job related stress… personal hygiene (you can add up to fours years to your life by flossing your teeth everyday!)… family medical history – then used this information to calculate how long I could expect to live.

I was “okay” with my result, at first. It is older than the current ages of my parents, and longer than any of my grandparents lived. It did torque me a little that Vicki will apparently outlive me by six or seven years…

Then I started thinking… About how old my children will be at the “check out date” I was given… About things I want to see and do with my wife… About ministry and mission work I’d love to be involved in…

Suddenly, my expiration date seems to come way too soon.

So, a couple of thoughts…

Because we have no guarantees of how long will live, our focus should be on how we live. In the Scriptures there are a handful of verses from Exodus and Deuteronomy that promised long life to the Children of Israel if they kept the Law. Apart from that, the thrust of the Bible message on age and length of life is focused on quality, not quantity.

How would we live if we could know when our “number” was coming up? I suspect I would try to make each day count… My wife would never doubt how much I love her, need, her, and support her… My kids would be well prepared to face life with a foundation of faith… I would be serious about sharing the Gospel with the lost, befriending the lonely, offering hope to the hurting…

I guess I’ve had the sobering realization that I won’t live on this earth forever, and most encounters with other people are more significant than we know. I want to really live, and not just mark time on a calendar. I want to spend my remaining days on this planet – however many or few there might be – in such a way that eternal life will just be a change of venue.

I gotta go floss…

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Anonymous
    March 7, 2007 at 7:23 am

    Scott, I couldn’t get to the website you have linked, just wondering about that. It is amazing how occasionally something happens to put everything into an eternal perspective, and what we do daily isn’t something to take for granted. Oh,did you get any of my emails?
    Joel

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