April 25, 2021
Reflections from the Heart of Allan Redenius
For one reason or another, I’ve been thinking a lot about death. Maybe its because I’m getting older. Maybe, as a pastor, it’s something I all too often deal with as an occupational hazard. For sure, none of us are going to escape it.
My Dad, who was a man of few words, said as he was nearing death, “Everybody wants to live one more day.” Even a bunny in the grips of the talons of an eagle is screaming, “I don’t want to die!”
If you know Jesus as your Lord, then death is not something to fear. Jesus says in John 14:2, “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go and prepare a place for you.”
So, if we know that heaven is our home, then why, at the end of life, are we so reluctant? Here’s the paradox we all face. As a Christian, we know heaven is beautiful beyond what words can describe. We should be anxious, excited to get there. For the most part, we are! Then enters the paradox. Somewhere in the beginning, God stuffed within every living creature, the instinct to survive. Every organ in our body fights to the very end. It is as if they each have a will of their own.
I’m reminded of the movie, “Little Big Man.” The old, old chief decides that life is at its end, and it is time to die. He prepares for the day of his departure with great care. The chief marches up the mountain to his carefully prepared “dying place.” He lays down and ceremoniously proclaims, “This is a good day. I die now.” He lays there for a while waiting for death to take him. In the meantime, the sky grows dark and ominous. A few raindrops begin to fall, and you see the old chief squint as the raindrops hit his face. In a moment, the chief sits up and says, “Maybe I die another day.” And he heads back down the mountain. 😊
Though death is serious, this story brings a smile to my face. But though you may smile with me, death is permanent. So, are you ready? Remember, like the old chief, you can’t pick the day.
“And as it is appointed unto men to die once, but after this the judgement.” (Hebrews 9:27)
Live for the Lord this day and always,
© 2021 Allan Redenius, All Rights Reserved
Allan Redenius is the Pastor of First Covenant Church in Fort Dodge, Iowa. This blog reflects his love for Our Lord Jesus Christ, his whimsical sense of humor and his approach to life.