The other day I got to talk to my father-in-law about life and death. He has a condition called myasthenia gravis. This disease makes his muscles weak and deteriorated and sometimes this causes them to give out totally. A few months ago he fell four times because his leg muscles would give out on him. I asked him if he was able to catch himself and he said it depends on if he falls backward or forward. As he smiled at me with his now slightly puffy face because of all the prednizone they are giving him he said, “If I fall backward I am like a bug that can not turn over.”

It’s Going to Happen

There have been several times when his diaphragm mussel would stop working and he couldn’t breath. At first the doctors thought that he was having panic attacks. It wasn’t until a few months later that they realized it was his diaphragm muscle that had stopped working. As I looked into his eyes my mind imagined what it would be like to suddenly be fully conscious, but all of the sudden unable to breathe. I mean, here you are alert and awake realizing that at any minute you could slip into eternity. As we spoke, my mother-in-law said, “I just pray that papa keeps breathing.” I should have thought before I spoke, but in reply I said to Papa, “It’s either going to happen now, or later, but it’s going to happen.” We looked at each other and smiled. He replied, “Sure, that is right.”

Examining Priorities

It didn’t take long to put that subject to rest—no pun intended—and move on to another topic. There is something about dwelling on our own mortality. It is a sobering thought as we reflect on our life and examine the things we do and the priorities that we give certain things.

Well, one thing I know, one day, each of us will face our own mortality. Some of us will face it prepared. Others will face it totally unprepared. And whether I have to face that reality now or later, I know that I am prepared (see Romans 8:39). Are you?