We Die As We Live
The story of two men. And an observation: we often die as we live (not in every case, but often).
One man was fairly successful and provided well for his family. However, almost every word that came out of his mouth was crude, vulgar, and cursing. It did not matter who was around. Women and children could be around; it made no difference. Late in life he came to the Lord, obeying the gospel. As his life neared the end, he lay cursing just like he had done in life. One asked his son, “I thought your daddy became a Christian. Why is he laying there talking like that?” The son answered, “Dad, even in a semi-conscious state, reverted back to his old habit of vulgar language. His mind was so use to that kind of talk he is now doing it and does not even realize it.”
The second man struggled most of his life financially. He had seven natural-born children and adopted two after their fathers drowned together. He was a godly man with a good name. He was an elder in the Lord’s church. Late in life he was supported to preach the gospel. As his life neared the end, and he lay in the hospital in a semi-conscious condition, one of his grandsons stepped in to see him. Upon approaching his bed, the Grandson identified himself. His Grandad muttered something. The Grandson asked, “Grandad, what did you say?” The first mutter sounded to him like his Grandad was saying, “Amen!’ Again, he asked his Grandad, “What did you say?” He said it again, “Amen!” The Grandson thought, “My Grandad is laying here dying and he is praying.”
See, both of those two men lived tremendously different lives. And, in the day of their dying, the kind of lives each lived came back to the forefront. Shouldn’t it be clear that when we lie on our own deathbed, the way we have lived our life and the language we use will impact us on our deathbed? I have heard of this happening on more than once.
Do we want those who visit or surround us as we die to hear invectives or praise and ”Amen!” because we are praying in our dying?
The above two men were real people. These are true stories. See, I was that Grandson. The Grandad that was praying as he was dying was my Grandad, Roy Clyde Jenkins. What kind of impact do you think that had on me when I was struggling at the time? It was life-changing! There are two events in my life that have been monumental influences and made significant changes in the way I was living. One is this incident about my Grandad. The other is the girl I married. I have still made some bone-headed mistakes, but those two people changed the direction of my life forever. My Grandad praying as he was dying was impactful.
Now, imagine the other scenario. What if that man who lay dying and cursing had been my Grandad? It would not have had the impact that my Grandad had. The man who lay dying and reverting to his vulgar speech was my Dad's uncle.
So don’t think that the way we live makes no difference. Others may visit us on our deathbeds. What will those who surround us hear? Praise and praying, or vulgarity and cursing?