I’ve been thinking about pastors who die on Sunday and I remember the Pastor of Ft. Calhoun Presbyterian Church 20+ years ago who was found dead on Sunday morning. I remember my good friend and local pastor who also 23 time to diedied on Sunday just last year. I looked it up and found at least three stories a year in the past three years where pastors died on Sunday. Some before they preached, some between sermons, and some after the services. Obviously there is extra stress on Sunday for pastors. I’m going to have to take more time off. What made me think of this was the email I received on Monday morning. Here is what it said, “Smyrna (MI) Bible Church Senior Pastor Mike Jones died suddenly yesterday from a stroke. He was up early to get ready for church and sometime later his wife found him on the floor. They took him to the hospital but he was declared brain dead by early Sunday afternoon. Mike was 45 years old, had no warning, no medical history, he was taking no medications. He just had a stroke and died. He leaves behind a wife and young family with 6 kids.” You just never know!

I’ve been studying Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 and the passage that struck me again was “there is a time to be born, and a time to die.” Everyone should come to terms with that reality. We should live our lives knowing that there is a time coming for each of us. Hebrews 9:27 makes it clear that “…it is appointed for man once to die.” Phil Ryken asks, “…Will you be ready when the time comes? Many people aren’t. When the Vicomte de Turenne was mortally wounded at the Battle of Salzbach in 1675, he wistfully said, ‘I did not mean to be killed today.’ By contrast, one sixty-five-year-old widow from Amsterdam was totally prepared. After the death of her husband in 2005, she carefully planned her own funeral, including the music. One day the next year, when she went to pay her respects where her husband was buried, she lay down and died right next to the family grave, perhaps of a heart attack. The woman’s name was already inscribed on the headstone, and her will was found inside her handbag.”

I really want to be careful how I talk about this subject because only a truly morbid person obsesses over the inevitability of his own death. . On the other hand, only a foolish person refuses to ponder his own mortality. One of the most profound truths come from the mouth of William Wallace of Brave heart fame. He said, “no man can really live until he is ready to die.” So what about you? Do you ever consider that God has granted you a fixed amount of time in this world and that every tick of the clock brings you that much closer to your date with eternity? Imagine you were to discover that you have one week to live. What regrets would you have? What unfinished business would fill you with sadness? Would you feel you have lived wisely, in a way that honors God? Why or why not?