Last Words

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. – James 4:13-17 NKJV. 

Thomas Hughes, on his way to fight in the first World War wrote a short message, put it in a bottle, and dropped it into the English Channel. His last words intended for his wife were, “Ta ta sweet, for the present. Your Hubby.” Thomas died two days later in battle. The bottle was finally recovered in 1999 and presented to Thomas Hughes’ daughter who was living in New Zealand. 

If Thomas had known, he would soon die, most likely he would have written more. If he had known his wife would be dead and his daughter late in life would receive the letter, he would have perhaps have more carefully chosen his words. 

So many of us live our lives as if we know that we have many years left to live. We live as though the mortality tables of the insurance companies are accurate in every case. The truth is we do not know what will happen tomorrow or even during the rest of this day. 

If we knew we would die in two days would there be some things we need to take care of? Would there be some things we would want to say to family, friends, neighbors? If we knew our Lord was coming back today, would we live our day differently than we have planned? Would there be some things we would do, say, write? Would there be some things we would not do, say, or write?

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