Ever thought about how you hope to die? I’m not necessarily talking about your literal death; I’m really asking about how you intend to live until you die. What will be the condition of your mind and your heart when death comes for you? How will you spend your days prior to taking your final breath?
Tragically, many people die long before they draw their last breath. They no longer seek all the joy and purpose and pleasure that life has for them. We should make it our aim never to become old. I don’t mean old in the chronological sense; I mean becoming old in attitude.
Those kinds of old people tend to have several characteristics in common. The first is narcissism: “It’s all about me.” This is an ultra-selfish mind-set that says, in effect, “I’ve earned my right to be miserable.” The fact is, life is a gift. What a privilege to live it.
Narcissism leads then to pessimism. This is a person who moans and complains, “I have nothing to contribute. My past is meaningless, and my future is bleak.”
Pessimism then leads to fatalism. This person lives with death as a destination. “The only thing in front of me is a grave or an urn.” The pessimist sees nothing interesting or important on the horizon and has no sense of purpose.
As Abraham faced the final third of his life, he displayed none of these characteristics. After roughly 112 years of marriage, his beloved Sarah was gone. But he knew that God calls the shots on life and death, not us. So the aging patriarch held on.
In the second act of his life, Abraham continued to live fully. I hope his refusal to grow old causes you to ask the Lord, “What future do You have for me?”
Do you ever struggle with narcissism, pessimism, or fatalism? What truths can you hold on to when those struggles come your way?
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. —Philippians 3:14
Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Faith for the Journey: Daily Meditations on Courageous Trust in God (Tyndale House Publishers, 2014). Copyright © 2014 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.