Daily Devotional for Saturday September 13, 2003

How brief this life really is

(James 4:14)

How brief this life really is. For each one of us, the one certainty is that one day this life will be over and we will pass into eternity. It is not a question of if, only when. That is why I try often to reinforce to you that we must live each day to its fullest. Our purpose in this life is to serve and glorify God. When it is over, the only thing that we will take with us from this life is our personal relationship with Christ. As real as the fact is that one day we will die, we often take this life for granted. >From time to time however, we are confronted with our own mortality and it helps us to refocus on what this life is really about.

In August of 2001, I had a chance to play in a charity golf tournament. During these past 48+ months since Liveprayer started, I have had very little time to play a game I enjoy. It was a very enjoyable round. Beautiful country club near Brandon, Florida. Warm but overcast Florida summer day. Wonderful people playing. Not to mention I actually played pretty well for not having played much. On the 8th hole, I hit a 150 yard approach a little short and ended up in a greenside bunker. I was talking to the gentleman I was playing with as we approached the bunker. I have always had a very bad habit of chewing on my tee while playing. Nervous energy I guess. As I waited for another player in our foursome to hit his shot, I took a deep breath and actually inhaled the tee.

At first, I didn't know what happened. Then, when I realized I had inhaled the tee, I tried to cough it up. It became apparent that it would not come out, and had gotten lodged in my throat part of the way down. One of the men came running over and asked if he should call 911. I told him yes. At this point, I realized the key was staying calm, and breathing. I was able to breath through my nose, so that kept me from panicking. My playing partner got behind me and tried to pop it out of me that way, but it was lodged in my throat sideways and that didn't work. I could also now feel some blood running down my throat, obviously from the cut in my throat where the tee was lodged.

At this point, there was about a 30 second period when all of this was happening where an incredible calm came over me. In a very clear and concise way, I realized that I may actually die. You never know how these things will play out, and that was a legitimate possibility. My thought at this was one of gratitude. I remember clearly thanking God for such a wonderful life. I wasn't praying for God to heal me, or take the tee out of my throat. I wasn't begging for my life. I wasn't mad at God. I just had a great peace about me, and an incredible sense of gratitude to God for allowing me to live such a wonderful life.

It seemed that within seconds I forced myself to swallow hard and all of the sudden felt the tee dislodge and go down. I drank some water, got my sand wedge, and hit a great bunker shot within a few feet of the hole! I got back to my golf cart and called my wife and simply told her how much I loved her. Even though I was still spitting up blood from where my throat was cut for the next several holes, I did finish the round. Needless to say, I have been broken of the habit of chewing on tees!

I share this with you today just to remind you how precious life really is. Not only how precious, but how quickly it can end. DON'T EVER TAKE YOUR LIFE FOR GRANTED. EACH DAY IS A SPECIAL GIFT FROM GOD. Let me also say that for anyone reading this today, that does not have 100% assurance that if your life ends today you will spend eternity with God, the Bible says TODAY is the day of salvation. Please take a few minutes, the most important few minutes of your life, and go to www.liveprayer.com/bdy_salvatn.html . . Simply ask God to open your heart and then read it. Trust me when I tell you that in the face of death, knowing that you will spend eternity with Jesus, gives you a peace you can't even describe. For those who do know Christ, make each day count, you just never know when it will be your last. Make sure you do all you can to serve Him each day.

I love you and care about you so very much. I don't say that lightly, especially today. Death is a part of the human experience. The Bible says "O death, where is thy sting!" For those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ it is not an event to be feared, but one that simply marks the end of our time in this life. Don't ever forget this important point. Only God says when our work here is over. So have no fear. As long as He still has work for us to do, we aren't going anywhere. I guess He still has some work for me to do. I pray each day I am faithful to that work.

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller