Matters of Life and Death

I walked toward the Metro with a time frame in mine, expectations, and a plan. Silly me, I really should know better by now.

My goal was to get cash out of the ATM, purchase a few groceries for my complaining stomach, and go home to spend a relaxing evening.

As I exited at Maidan, I noticed several people standing around staring with looks of concern, interest and shock. I turned to find a gentleman, who looked to be in his late 50s, surrounded by a medical crew that was clearly working to revive him. I shuddered a bit but continued on my course.

I waited behind several people before finally standing before the ATM. I’m pretty sure in my head I was imagining a heavenly light and an angelic chorus after the pain of last week. Then instead of delivering money into my hand, the machine mockingly spat out a slip of paper informing me that it could not process my request.

I tried to stay calm. “Maybe it doesn’t have that much money in it today,” I thought. So I went to another ATM machine nearby, it mocked me more with a printed, “Transaction not honored.”

Part of me was fighting tears and the other part was fighting anger. So of course at this point is when I receive a text from my roommate, “By the way, our landlord is coming by for rent tonight.”

Were I in America it probably wouldn’t garner the same reaction, but there is something about being unable to access my money when in a foreign country that just makes me want to cry. When I’m in America the equivalent for me is when something happens to my vehicle. I think both are things I simply don’t know how to fix.

So as I fought my feelings, I did the only thing I could do – I thanked God the machine didn’t eat my card and headed back to the Metro to return home and try to contact my bank again.

Walking back through the Metro doors, I’m not sure why I looked but I did. The crowd had cleared, but as I gazed past a lone security guard I noticed it. A black body bag lay on the floor with a black bowler hat placed atop it.

The man had died.

Whoever he was, whatever happened, he had taken his last breath. A flood of questions filled my mind and with them a reminder of how short life really is. Time is precious, but do I truly live like I believe that?

Money is a huge issue for me, for most of us who are alive and breathing. Of the majority of my fears, most are somehow linked to dollar signs and the fear of lacking. (Some are tied to elevators and well you see how that has gone for me this past week too.)

When we find ourselves at the end of our days, it isn’t really going to matter how much money we do or don’t have. What will matter is what we did with the life we were given and if we spent our time following Christ. And often He simply doesn’t lead us to places that are comfortable, predictable, or in our control but He is still good, just and in control.

What are your biggest fears? How do you give them to God and trust Him with those areas?  How do you keep from taking the time God has given you for granted?

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