The winter clouds have announced their arrival by covering the nearby mountain peaks with snow while here in the valley below, and the winds are forcing the trees to give up their colored leaves in a whirlwind of frenzied activity and the rain at times seems to be going sideways as it slams against the windows. And so the season changes and another year will soon fade into yesterday and our eyes our witnesses to natures cycles and our mortality.

I was speaking to my father on the phone just the other day, and he said that he’d had a good life and his time was approaching for him to leave and that there was nothing that he could do to stop the cycle from closing, birth, life, and death. And he was right as were millions before him for he saw that life is only granted for a short while and when it comes to an end, it is only then that we realize just how little we actually knew.

How much time do we waste on things of little importance, but we ignore the most powerful elements that define a man’s life, his heart, and his soul. A man will spend his entire life doing what he wants and going where he will, but when the end approaches, he can only look out of the window in remorse for the things he didn’t do but should have. For many, such thoughts never occur to them for they were taken out of the world suddenly and without warning and left a gaping hole in the hearts of family and friends. And others have the time as death slowly approaches but what will they do with the time being given?

That is truly the question of the hour before the hand strikes, and the light of life fades forever, and the heart ceases to pump the life-giving blood, and the body relinquishes the soul, and the last breath expires. What was the last thought, “O what a fool I was” or “why did I waste my life” or “receive my spirit O Lord God?”

While we live, we live for ourselves, our parties, our works, our pleasures and we want to show the people around us who we think we are or want to be seen as, but the truth is this; we are frail and weak even in our greatest strengths and intellectual abilities.

If it were not for the skin that covers our bodies, we could not survive. We can be drowned in three inches of water, and if our immune systems are weakened, the body cannot repair itself such as with chemotherapy which keeps us alive even as we die. What protects the eye other than a very thin membrane of skin or what protects the eardrums other than a channel and atmospheric pressure? What about the brain? What protects that from viruses and chemicals other than a thin membrane that is able to resist practically all chemical attacks except for mercury and aluminum and again, the immune system?

Can we breathe without oxygen? Can we walk on water? Can we take water into our lungs and live? Can we eat grass like a cow or eat clay like a parrot and survive? Perhaps now you can understand just how weak we really are in this world of which we are so proud to claim as our own even as the ants take your food and the termites eat up the wood if chemicals are not used to deflect them.

The frailty of life is demonstrated over and again by the fact that death has an appointment with every human being, thus ending the cycle of life and there is no escaping it for it is everywhere.

When we look in the mirror, we see the effects of aging, and when we step on the scales, the frustration mounts as the pounds gather and the once toned bodies clearly reveal the internal breakdown as age takes the upper hand, no matter how hard we try to be “fit.” When we see school friends after many years, the illusion is shattered, and for them, it is the same.

In our winter years as the cold is harder to resist and the winds never cease to remind us, we begin to reflect on our past and ask ourselves why this road was taken and for what purpose was I brought into the world? The time to think is there if one is willing to look and learn and change, but for the most, contentment is the antidote for fear as is the quilt on a cold winter’s night. But ignoring the inevitable won’t make it go away for there is a day for every man and woman when their time is done and they will fall asleep until the hour in which they must stand before God to give an account for their lives lived. And that is why the time should be taken to review a life lived and to effect immediate changes before it becomes too late.

There is coming a day of accountability whether you will accept it or not because opinions won’t be taken into account nor feelings but all judgment will be based on the Law of God, and if you chose to live a life outside of the law, then you will be judged as a lawbreaker and sentenced as such, completely irrespective of beliefs or excuses. And that is why God, the Father, sent His Son Jesus, to save you from the wrath that is to come upon all lawbreakers if you will believe in His works and on His name for there is no other name given among men by which a man can be saved.

Today, if you would hear His voice, harden not your hearts as did your fathers in the Wilderness when they tempted Me forty years and saw My works.” But God could not save them because of disbelief, and they perished in their rebellion, young and old alike.

Today, as death approaches, will you do the same and trust in works or attitudes, or choose not to believe in God or perhaps in gods that are not? Jesus has promised that in dying you shall not die IF you believe in Him, but will you? Or will you turn away in your pride, or perhaps trust in your weakened physical state or mental abilities to save you? Will you trust in lies to the bitter end just to show your friends and family how “strong” you are when a mere child can cause you to stumble?

Think about your future while you still can because once the last breath has been taken, your life is finished and the books will be opened. And if you placed your soul in the hands of the Son of God, then you will live, but if you placed your trust in lies, then death eternal will be your future. It is all up to you even as the shadows grow longer and the chill lingers deep into the night, and the trees are swept of their last colors, even so, the days of your life are clearly numbered so make a wise choice and care less for what friends and family would say as they encourage you to be strong, for you are not. Mortality is looking you in the eye, but Jesus is offering you life.

The choice is up to you.

Edward L Ordway