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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Future

This blog doesn't have anything to do with sports or music, but it was just something on my heart that I wanted to say. I came across this article a few days ago, and it really made me think. At first I didn't print it out, but went back and printed it the next day. It's about this guy from Michigan named Ralph Stebbins who won $208 million in the lottery in April 2005. He and his wife retired and made plans for how they were going to spend the money. They were set for the rest of their lives. However, Mr. Stebbins died this week of a sudden heart attack at the age of 43, leaving his wife and 3 kids. Here's the article:

This article really made me think about how we never know when our time on earth will end. We have to be ready and be right with God ourselves. Also, we have to use the time that we do have in this world wisely to make a difference in the lives of others for God. It brought to mind two stories in the Bible. The first one is in Luke 12:16-21(NIV, quoted from

16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'

18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." '

20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'

21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."

This story is about not knowing what our future holds, and using what we have to help others. It doesn't make any difference how much money we have after we die. It doesn't do us any good after we leave this life. What matters is if we're ready for God's judgement and what we do with what He's given us on this earth.

The second story is from James 4:13-15(same source as above):

13Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."

This story is also about not knowing what your future will bring, and that our future is in God's hands. I don't know if Mr. Stebbins was a Christian or not, but we need to make sure and seek God's will for our lives and put him in the center of our lives. And we need to be prepared for the unexpected events that God may bring into our lives. We need to be prepared for whatever God wills to happen in our lives, whether it is to move, change jobs, or leave this life on earth. Our lives may seem perfect and like we're set for life, but God may have other ideas about what he wants us to do to help further His kingdom. We have to be prepared for anything, even for our lives to possibly end tomorrow.

While I was thinking about this article, I was reading my devotional on Decemer 29th by Mike Sandrolini (in "Power Up!" from Sports Spectrum) and it was about a similar topic, about not knowing when our lives are going to end and to make the most of the life have for God. The devotional ended with this challenge that really made me think: "On a gravestone, there is a dash between the date of one's birth and the date of one's death. Ponder what you are doing for God's glory with that dash." What are we doing with our dash?

I just wanted to share something that was on my heart and I hope that I gave you just a little something to think about.


WINTER said...

Good post Rena! It was very thoughtful and meaningful. I know it's good for me to be reminded that I can go at anytime. Sometimes I get too comfortable with my life and just sit back and watch sometimes. How can I be more active in presenting my Faith to others? How can I "get right" with God? This is a tough topic, but thanks for reminding me. (Do you teach a Sunday School class or anything?)

Rena Ball said...

No, I don't teach a Sunday school class or something and that's the 1st time that I've ever written something like that. I just came across that article and then the devotional, and God just really put that issue on my heart. This may be the last time I write something like this too. But it was just something that I couldn't get out of my mind and needed to write about.

WINTER said...

I wish you would write more like that, because you have a gift. ;o)

Rena Ball said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rena Ball said...

Thanks for the encouragement. I might try to write more. It also helps having a Bible with a good commentary. I read the commentary about both sets of verses first before writing about them to get a better idea of what the verses were about. I have the "Life Application Study Bible", which is great. So I can't take all of the credit.