Confession time: I don’t pay much attention to expiration dates…
It drives my family crazy, but I really think that food expiration dates are kind of expandable. Like yogurt for example: it stays good way past the date on the carton if you ask me. And I have never gotten sick from bad yogurt. But food expiration dates aren’t that much of an issue for me because I hardly ever buy processed foods, and fresh foods always let me know when they aren’t fresh anymore. What you see and smell tells the story there!
But there are some expiration dates that must be taken into consideration. Like specific medicine for example. I have found some Pepto Bismol that was..hmm… over 8 years past the expiration date. Not a pretty sight.
Yesterday, while rooting through the vegetable drawer of my refrigerator to get rid of some moldy tomatoes–definite sign that they were past prime time–, I was struck with the oddest thought: Life has an expiration date. And that particular expiration date is not expandable. I can’t cut the moldy parts out and try to make it work. When it’s over, it’s over.
I remember my parents losing friends to death. I myself have lost grandparents, aunts, uncles and even my dad. But that’s kind of normal as you age. I have witnessed the heart-wrenching pain of children dying from sickness or accidents. But that’s freaky and abnormal. As far as my generation, very few of my friends had yet passed death’s threshold. Until not long ago.
And now I see a new season on the horizon, with friends crossing over to the other side, and this simple truth stares me in the face:
Life has an expiration date.
For each one of us.
And it’s not expandable.
But it’s ok.
Because I firmly believe that my time down here is akin to time in the womb, and my real life is coming up on the other side of this one. Yet it matters how I conduct myself in this short preparation for what is to come. My days are numbered (Psalm 90:12); I ought to use them wisely.
“Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am.” Psalm 39:4
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