4 weeks to live

8 Sep

In the missionary world, we have this little analogy:

 Mortal Life: From the scriptures we learn that we lived with God before coming here. We left His presence to come to earth and learn important things for ourselves. We don’t remember our Father’s presence while we’re here, but we can communicate to Him through prayer and scripture study. Though it seems long to us, this mortal period is just a short part of our existence; we know that we can return to Him after we leave this life. If we have done well in this life, we will stand again in our Father’s presence with confidence.

Mission Life: We lived with families before coming out, but all that seems like a distant memory in the moment. We left them across the country to come out here and learn important things for ourselves, while we teach those important things to others. We can communicate with our families through emails and letters. Though it seems long, this mission is just a short part of our mortal lives; when we finish our time, we will return to our families. If we served well on our missions, we will stand in the future with confidence.

I’ve always liked this mission/life analogy. It’s very applicable. The problem that I have with it right now is that this means I have about four weeks to live. Yikes. But I decided early on in my mission how I wanted to die. I want to focus on doing as much as I can in the time I have left.

The scriptures frequently admonish us to endure to the end. That means that when our mortal lives are drawing to a close, we don’t want to focus on the things of this world. We don’t want to lose sight of what’s important and eternal by trying to live it up in what’s temporary and fleeting. Life, like a mission, is all about focus.

If you were a world-class sprinter, you wouldn’t want to slow down towards the end of your distance. There would, of course, be temptations to slow down. Maybe you realize that you’ll easily beat your best time and don’t need to work quite so hard at the end. Or maybe you feel the pain in your side and you would rather slow down and drink something. But you are a world-class sprinter. You would rather do your absolute best than simply do better than you’ve done before. And you would rather sprint for just a little while longer and ignore the side-ache, knowing that you can drink plenty afterward.

So it is in life. We want to do our absolute best, not be content with just doing pretty well, or even worse, just doing a little better than the people around us. And there may be distractions, worldly things that seem pleasing, but we know that the rewards for finishing well are far greater than any temporary pleasures here. My mission has taught me, among many, many, many other things, that when I reach the end of my mortal life, I want to keep working hard in the Lord’s service and I don’t want to lose sight.

Four weeks and counting. This post is a little reminder to me to keep working!


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