Are you ready to die?

A tough question to ask of anyone – myself included.

It occurs to me for two reasons – the recent death of a friend in his 50s and the tragic shooting of Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the War Memorial in Ottawa.

Both men had much to look forward to – Cirillo was in his 20s with hopes of a long career as a soldier and our friend was still active as a dedicated public servant in the federal government.

I remember my family doctor being concerned about what appeared to be a heart problem when I was in my early 50s. Our children were not yet fully launched in life – a couple of them were still in school. I did not want to die.

My imagination was over-active and it turned out my family doctor was wrong – I did not have a serious heart problem.

I believe most of us put off thoughts of death until we are old. And even then, we may push it into the back of our minds.

But Jesus told his followers to always be ready for his return. The same applies to death.

In the story of the 10 bridesmaids in Matthew 25, Jesus says five of the bridesmaids prepared their lamps with enough oil for the wedding feast and five did not. The bridegroom was delayed and the 10 bridesmaids fell asleep.

When he arrived, the five bridesmaids who did not have enough oil were told to hurry off to a shop and get some more. When they returned, the bridegroom had already gone into the house and they were locked out.

The moral of the story is to always be prepared to leave this world and be with Jesus.

As a follower of Christ, I know I will be with him. But am I so attached to what I have here – family and plans for the future – that I don’t want to even think of leaving?

The apostle Paul had the right attitude. In his letter to the Philippians, he said: “For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.”

As he said, he had work to do for Christ here on earth. But he was longing to see Jesus.

May that be my attitude, too.


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