Came across this quote from Piper:
For me, the end of a year is like the end of my life. And 11:59 p.m. Wednesday night will be like the moment of my death. The 365 days of 1980 are like a miniature lifetime. And these final days are like the last hours in the hospital after the doctor has told me that the end is very near. And in these last hours, the lifetime of 1980 passes before my eyes and I face the inevitable question: Did I live it well? Will Jesus Christ, the righteous judge, say “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
And it got me thinking – I mean most all of us do some sort of reflecting at the end of each year, but what if we had this mentality every day? Why is it so hard for me to live with this level of finality on a daily basis? I certainly don’t spend ANY time thinking that “the end is near”. The purpose not to become one of “those people” who’re constantly being a buzz-kill talking about death all the time like some gothic high schooler. But the point being to live with purpose and mission every day rather than living in what Piper elsewhere refers to as a “peace time mindset”
One of the marks of this peacetime mind-set is what I call an avoidance ethic. In wartime we ask different questions about what to do with our lives than we do in peacetime. We ask: What can I do to advance the cause? What can I do to bring the victory? What sacrifice can I make or what risk can I take to insure the joy of triumph? In peacetime we tend to ask, What can I do to be more comfortable? To have more fun? To avoid trouble and, possibly, avoid sin?…
People who are content with the avoidance ethic generally ask the wrong question about behavior. They ask, What’s wrong with it? What’s wrong with this movie? Or this music? Or this game? Or these companions? Or this way of relaxing? Or this investment? Or this restaurant? Or shopping at this store? What’s wrong with going to the cabin every weekend? Or having a cabin? This kind of question will rarely yield a lifestyle that commends Christ as all-satisfying and makes people glad in God. It simply results in a list of don’ts. It feeds the avoidance ethic.
The better questions to ask about possible behaviors is: How will this help me treasure Christ more? How will it help me show that I do treasure Christ? How will it help me know Christ or display Christ? The Bible says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). So the question is mainly positive, not negative. How can I portray God as glorious in this action? How can I enjoy making much of him in this behavior?
There is an old saying: “No man ever lamented on his dying bed, ‘I wish I had spent more time at the office.”… But that saying about spending less time at the office can be misleading. We need to add this: No one will ever want to say to the Lord of the universe five minutes after death, I spent every night playing games and watching TV with my family because I loved them so much. I think the Lord will say, “That did make me look like a treasure in your town. You should have done something besides provide for yourself and your family. And TV, as you should have known, was not a good way to nurture your family or your own soul.”
Lord, help me to fight the good fight of the faith and to number my days that I may make much of You and be active in advancing Your Kingdom TODAY!