Jump Start # 3401
Hebrews 9:27 “And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment.”
The other day I watched a show that took a technical dive into the lyrics and music of Jim Croce’s song, Operator. What a great song that is. There are many things in that song that younger generations would not understand, such as, what is an operator? What is a matchbook? What does it mean for the operator to keep a dime? Great song. Great show explaining things.
Croce was a new and young musician. He had produced two albums and a greatest hit in just two years. Tragically, he was killed in a plane wreck. He was only thirty years old. This month marks the fiftieth year of his death. He has been dead longer than he was alive. One can only imagine what other wonderful songs he could have written had he not died so young.
This reflection makes us remember several important Biblical principles:
First, none of us are guaranteed a long life. This is true even among disciples. The church had barely started when Stephen was killed. One can only imagine what good he would have done had he lived longer. When we put all of our eggs in tomorrow’s basket, we might well be disappointed that we have not accomplished much. Now is all that we have. Today is the day of salvation, the apostle said.
We have a divine appointment, is what our verse today reminds us of. One can’t skip that appointment. One won’t miss that appointment. One can’t reschedule that appointment. Only the Lord knows when that appointment will be for us.
Second, our passing can come suddenly and when we least expect it. For Croce, he had just finished a show. He was heading to the next show. Plans were being made for the next step in his career. But death called. And, so it is a reminder to us that we can have full schedules, lots of things to do and all of that can come to a sudden halt. Death doesn’t wait for you to finish projects, get your papers in order, or even to have your children raised. Death doesn’t wait for us.
Third, what matters is where one is with the Lord. Having super hits may put money in the pocket and give you a household name, but that doesn’t mean anything in eternity when we are with the great and the small, as Revelation puts it. Faith in the Lord and His generous grace is our only hope. We must walk daily with the Lord.
One of Jim Croce’s best songs was “Time in a bottle.” It begins, “If I could put time in a bottle…” But you can’t. No one can. It’s a sweet thought, but it’s not reality. We must live today as if it could be our last day.
Make plans for tomorrow, but live with one foot already in Heaven.