80,000

Life is beautiful. It’s heartbreaking and brilliant at the same time. With every passing day we have the chance to fall in love with the early morning sunrise, the strangers that hop on and off the train with earbuds blaring music, a pastor’s message from two weeks ago, or an old voicemail of their 3-year-old daughter. We have the chance to leave a 50 dollar tip for the waiter that has a story worth telling; to sit in a photo booth and end up taking little strips of memories home to slip under a magnet on our fridge. And we have the chance to lay on a quilt, hand-knitted by our great grandmother, in the bed of a truck and watch the dazzling stars as they shine from their homes in the sky. Or do we?

The choice to get up in the morning and yawn as we make a fresh cup of coffee isn’t a choice that we get to make. We think it is. But it’s not. The number of breaths we take in a lifetime isn’t a number we can control.

Job 14:5
A person’s days are determined;
    you have decreed the number of his months
    and have set limits he cannot exceed.

Just 11 days ago I was performing my last high school show.  Then, three days ago I walked across that same stage for, most likely, the last time as I received my diploma and then threw my cap into the air. Yesterday a 21-year-old friend of a friend died. Today, I spent 2 hours at a funeral for my cousin’s grandfather. A lot of “lasts” have happened within the past 2 weeks, and those are just the “big” ones. I can’t help but write about it.

FundersandFounders.com: On average we live for 78.3 years. Most of us remember people we meet after age 5. Assume we interact with 3 new people daily in cities.  Including leap years, that comes out to around 80,000 people. Is it a lot?
Either way most of us will meet around 80,000 people in the course of our lives. These are people you could offer something. There are many more people who you will never meet, and yet they might love to have what you can offer.

This is a new realization for me. 80,000 people! Think about that for a moment. That’s 80,000 people to whom you can demonstrate love to. 80,000 people you can teach, share tears and dreams with, and save. You have the power to change eternities, and the strength to love like Jesus. Make the difference.

Galatians 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.
Ephesians 3:16-19
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

As I sat listening to the southern preacher-man speak at the funeral this morning, I was intrigued by one statement in particular. “Life is short,” he said. “Death is certain.” I quickly grabbed a “welcome visitor” card, a pencil, and jotted it down. Those are words and realizations we often dismiss simply because we don’t want to think about it. But unfortunately, as troublesome as it is to comprehend, it’s true.

Life is short. Be sure to tell the ones you cherish that you love them. And death is certain. Be sure to know where you – and they – are going.

1 Peter 4:7-11
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

 

How are you going to affect your 80,000 people? Today could be their last performance, their last graduation, last opportunity to capture a photograph, or last chance to say, “I love you.” What if today was the last day one of those 80,000 people spent in this world, or yours for that matter. What would happen tomorrow?

In honor of: Mr. Kevin Scheidt and Mr. Lawrence Briggs

 

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