This Could Be My Last Pair of Shoes

I was sitting in Sunday School staring down at the new running shoes my mother-in-law had so kindly gotten me early for my birthday thinking how amazing they felt when the thought came into my mind, “This could be the last pair of shoes that I ever have to get.”

Just two days before, my mother had sadly told me that a girl I grew up with in school had just lost a very rapid battle with cancer. She left behind a grieving husband and two bewildered little kids.

In our prayer time, a couple shared a guy had just flipped off his motorcycle near their house. They had seen bystanders trying to do CPR. It was too late. The prayer was for whomever he had left behind.

As I was driving to work, a young man blazed by me on a motorcycle, passing the person ahead of me on the right. God put on my heart to pray for him and his safety, so as I was doing that, it wasn’t long before I approached him, me in the fast lane and him in the lane on my right. He was just an edge in front of me and began to hurl himself in my lane right in front of me without looking. Just before crossing the yellow line, he took a quick glance. That was one of the quickest answers to prayer I have ever seen. His life could have been gone in an instant.

So, as I looked down at my shoes, my thought was a pretty natural one to consider. Though I have nothing going on that I know of to make me think this could be true, there is a chance that this would be the last pair of shoes I might ever need to buy (even though technically, these were a gift). I really, really like my new shoes. I honestly don’t like having to buy new shoes. The process of finding something that I like at a reasonable price in size 11 or 12 can be an arduous one to me.  There is a chance that I might never go through that process again.

With the death of two young individuals in the forefront of my mind, as I think about my kids and my husband and my parents, I definitely wouldn’t want to depart the world this soon. I know that isn’t something that is up to me, though.Only God knows how many days I have. Life is short. Whether Jesus returns today, whether I live out a normal lifetime, or whether I go a little early, life is short. Taking time to consider that is healthy. It breeds honest reflection on how we are living the lives God entrusted to us and whether we are really doing the things that matter most. As the man of great wisdom, Solomon put it:

It is better to go to a house of mourning
    than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of everyone;
    the living should take this to heart. (Ecclesiastes 7:2)

And so I pray with Moses:

 So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12)

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