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Friday, September 17, 2021

Facing The Inevitable

One of the stark realities of life here on earth is that it doesn’t last forever. It’s temporary. In the Bible the Psalmist wrote,  “I am here on earth for just a little while.” He also commented, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away.”

This really hit home to me after my mom was diagnosed with esophagial cancer some time ago. She and dad then sold their house in Stony Mountain and moved into Lions Manor here in Stonewall. One day, I went over to the Manor for a visit and we got talking about the delicious perogies Mom used to make. Mom said, “We still have a bag of perogies frozen in the deep freezer” (she and dad used to make up batches of perogies from time to time and freeze them for later use.) So, Dad and I went to the deep freezer and I reached in and got it out. As we were walking back into the kitchen, realizing that he and mom would likely never again make perogies together, he said in a plaintive voice, “Everything comes to an end…”

That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. It made me realize nothing here on earth lasts forever. Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away…” Elsewhere, the Bible says, “The world and its desires pass away…”

When you’re young, you think life is forever, it will NEVER end. But as you age, you gradually begin to realize that life not only has a a beginning point but also a termination point.     I think of some of the people I grew up with. First, there was Raymond. During the summer after Grade 11, Raymond accidentally shot himself in the throat while climbing through a fence while hunting on his dad’s farm. I was pall bearer at his funeral. I remember the incredible impact that made on my life when he died, his life terminated at such a youthful age.

Second, there was Danny. I used to envy him from Grade 1 on wards. Everything he was, I wasn’t: athletic, good looking (girls crowded around him even as they ignored me..) We used to play “spin the bottle” at school with the girls and when the bottle pointed to you, the girls either had to kiss you or give you a dime. I played spin the bottle a lot and by the time I was 12, I owned my own home.

Danny didn’t have a mother who insisted he wear a toque to school in the wintertime like mine did. I had this Elvis hairstyle with a duck tail and toques wrecked the beauty of it. My mother had the audacity on days when it was -40 to insist I wear a toque. Being the obedient son I was, I wore that toque, until I turned the corner out of her sight…

But Danny’s mother didn’t insist he wore a toque. He had the privilege of coming to school on those bitterly, bitterly cold mornings with the tops of his ears frozen white. I didn’t have that experience. Danny had all of these advantages. I always envied him.

Then, a couple of years ago, I went home back to Saskatchewan and stopped in at Letwicky’s Auto Parts in Canora. One of my high school buddies worked there and he said, “Henry, did you hear the news? Danny Secundiak died last nite of a massive heart attack.” I couldn’t believe it. Danny,  #1 in school, was now dead. Gone.

The Bible says life here on earth is fleeting, like the grass and flowers which wither and fade. 

Since that is the case, it only makes sense in my opinion to prepare for the inevitable. How do you do that, you ask? Simply pray and invite Jesus to come into your heart, forgive you your sins and you will receive the gift of eternal life, so that when you die, you get to go to Heaven to be with God there forever and ever.

That seems to me to be to be the best way to face the inevitable.

Henry Ozirney was the founding pastor of New Life Church in Stonewall, where he served from 1970 until he retired in 2014. He is currently Interim Pastor at New Life Church in Teulon, Manitoba. He can be reached at henryoz@mts.net or 204-461-1105.

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