Glory and Death
A few weeks ago, I woke up in the middle of the night and was unable to go back to sleep. Frustrated and exhausted, I finally accepted that I would not be falling back asleep and got up. I dragged myself out of bed with only a few hours of sleep and prepared myself for the long day ahead. I was not looking forward to some difficult things I had to do. I attempted to listen to some worship music as I rushed to get myself ready. Finally getting myself out of the house I arrived at the doctor’s office for a check-up.
While waiting in the waiting room I was greeted by death! The TV was playing a local fire fighter’s funeral that recently died. I was surprised because I rarely watch TV and did not know about this fallen hero. I was weary and had a lot on my mind. This is not how I wanted to spend my morning -with a reminder of death, especially when I was in such a grumpy mood. I put on my headphones and listened to my music and tried to get myself in a better space. Occasionally I glanced at the TV and watched the large crowd who had gathered to honor this man. There were bagpipes and many firefighters in dress uniform and much fanfare. I thought to myself wow this man must have been important and amazing.
I thought how silly this was. This special man is not even alive to see all the fuss people are making over him. And I confess to you dear reader, that until today I wanted the same kind of funeral. In high school I did a research paper on Ella Fitzgerald and read when she died that they shut down the highway for her funeral procession. As a young person, I thought how “cool” to be so loved, so important and a “big deal”. I wanted the same honor for myself. That day though, seeing a heart-felt tribute on TV did not seem right for me. And with the perspective that life often gives us if we let it, I realized I want my glory to be on the OTHER side of heaven. That is where it really counts. That is where I want to see my fanfare and see my Father greet me with open arms and say, “Well done my good and faithful servant!”
John 17:4-5, 22-23
4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.