A new perspective
My father’s death has given me a new perspective of life in this earth. I have been thinking and pondering over my father’s death a lot in the past 7 days. I managed to find a lot of old memories with him and it refreshed my soul to think about the good times we had in the past 40 years. I have resolved to myself that I don’t want to go back to normality but to the “new normal” from what God taught me through the life and death of my father. Here are the important truths I realised in the past week.
1) What matters in those last few hours?
I wondered what must be going through his mind during those last 60 minutes of his life in earth when he was gasping for breath and almost at the doors of death. I wondered if I was in that situation what must be going through my mind. Will I be thinking about all the petty fights I had during my lifetime, will I regret that I couldn’t go for a better holiday or buy a bigger house? Will I be disappointed that I couldn’t finish the series in Netflix? Surely not! I will be thinking about whether I lived a life worthy of my calling, whether I fulfilled my duties to my loved ones and whether my family will be safe without me! So let us not worry about things that doesn’t matter and focus on things that matter. We need to stop worrying about petty issues, fighting smaller battles and spending too much time in things that really doesn’t matter.
2) Never miss spending time with your loved ones. Record and cherish every moment. Don’t shy away from telling that you love them.
The last few days I desperately rummaged my emails, my journals, phones, laptops and runners to see if I can find some old memories of my father. Though my father was not very good in using modern technology, I managed to find a few emails where we exchanged a loving and caring message. I came across a text message I sent to my father in 2012 January wishing him a happy new year and finished it by saying, “You are the best!”. I exactly remember why I sent that message. Before sending that message I said to myself: “I don’t want to talk about my dad to others how good he is after he is gone and I want to tell to him while he is alive”. These memories brought tears to my eyes but I was glad that I managed to convey loving and caring messages to him whenever I can. In spite of all these old memories I longed and cried if I can go back to him one more time and say that I love him. I also wondered what he was thinking about me during the final hours. But the reality is, death is a great separation and we cannot go back to our loved ones who are on the other side and they cannot come here.
So, use the time when your loved ones are alive to tell them you love them. Spend time with them and never ignore a message from your loved ones because you never know when you will receive the last message from them.
3) While you may be fighting your own battles in your life, never miss time to spend with your parents. Your parents are getting old and they may not be healthy by the time you win your own battles.
One of the regret I have about my father is, that I could have spent more time with my father when he was healthy. Looking back, I was busy fighting my own battles for a few years when I had to go through challenges during the first 8 years of our marriage before we had our first born. During those times though I managed to visit my father every year, I was telling myself that, “after I solved all of my problems I will spend more time with my father”. Little did I realise that my father will get ill after that and he wont be able to spend much time with me.
Remember that our parents are getting older with us. Every day, every month and every year is important. We cannot put them on a “waiting list” until we finish fight our own battles in life. Let us find time to spend more time with them while we are fighting our battles.
4) Never miss an opportunity to tell the gospel to your loved ones
I sent an email to my father that he should accept the Lord when he went through difficult times. I spoke to him several times about God. Looking back at these conversations, I now have great peace knowing I obeyed the Lord. If I had not done that, my life would have been excruciatingly painful now as I will be blaming myself and regretting those missed opportunities.
There is nothing important in this world than to tell the gospel to your loved ones. If you know of any of your loved ones who have not accepted the Lord, please give them a call or email them today. For today is the day of salvation!
5) Listen to the still voice of God and never miss the prompt to pray or read the bible
During the last hours of my father in earth, I obeyed the Lord when I felt in my spirit that I should stay awake and pray though my “flesh” wanted to sleep early. I obeyed that still small voice and the prompt of the Holy Spirit and stayed awake and prayed without knowing that was the exact time my father was called home. If I had slept early and later learnt that my father has died, I would not have had peace and the assurance of God’s hand during those dark hours.
Always listen to the still small voice and the prompt of the Holy Spirit. The flesh is weak but the spirit is willing. Always learn to obey the Lord.
6) Preach the gospel to others and get involved in a ministry.
Every one of us die. Dying without God is the worst thing that can happen to someone. Even though my father didn’t die as someone not having hope, I wish my father had known the Lord earlier in life. I heard and saw everyday how his health deteriorated and all the loved ones around him suffered along with him. The process of dying is painful for some people and the prospect of dying without God is even more painful which thankfully my father was spared from.
Death is real and it can happen to anyone at anytime. So resolve to preach the gospel to others and get involved in a ministry and make it your priority. Paul said, “Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel” as he understood the importance of sharing the gospel. C.T Studd said, “Some want to live within the sound Of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop, Within a yard of hell”. We are literally in a life and death situation every moment in this earth. So let us jump into this rescue mission and throw the lifeboat to the dying so God can use us to save someone through us.