I was talking with a person today who has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I find it is very difficult to wrestle through situations like that. You don’t want to be trite, you don’t want to be over confident, you don’t want to offend, you don’t want to think about your own death, you think about it anyway, you don’t want to …. It goes on and on.
I this week I ran into a wise saying, that quite frankly, I didn’t like at all. Misery loves company…so I’ll drop it on you too:
It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time. Sorrow is better than laughter, for sadness has a refining influence on us. A wise person thinks much about death, while the fool thinks only about having a good time now.*
I don’t know how that strikes you…but that’s a new message. I am charged up about going to parties and festivals…I don’t get really juiced about going to funerals. The Wise Teacher is on to something here I think. It is really healthy for us to think about death and dying…not so we get depressed…but so that we change how we LIVE!
“Sadness has a refining influence…” that can be so true in our lives. We have to make it true though. We have all met people who were washed out by the sadness in their lives. They never allowed the sadness to shape them. Those are the people the Teacher calls foolish. The wise person changes and adjusts the way they live to make God happy…and themselves truly happy.
That’s the way I hope we are walking on this quest together….to be wise and consider how to live lives that will please Jesus.
The amazing thing about the person I was talking with today is the unshakable confidence that they have in Jesus and getting to see Him! That’s the twist we have on the wise teacher–WE ARE GOING TO A FESTIVAL WHEN WE DIE! Heaven is going to be sooooo great. (I just read a book this week called The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis that dreams about the afterlife and how grand heaven is…wow…I can’t wait. It is worth the read!)
I don’t mean to be somber today…but I want us to be wise…let’s think while there is still time.