Tuesday, December 23, 2014

If I Die

            As you may already know, I’m going to London to study abroad over winter break. It’s an exciting opportunity, one I’m looking forward to, but I need to clear a few things up first.
            There is risk involved in any trip to a major world city. First, I have the flights there and back. Four times taking off, four times landing. There’s being in the middle of a city hated by terrorists and with people hated by terrorists. There have been beheadings in London and bombs set off in London. There’s always a risk. There is strict gun control in the city; not even the police carry them. So if someone broke that law, we would be fairly helpless.
            Don’t misunderstand, I have no plans to die in the near future. But life is uncertain.
            The trip insurance includes costs of flying my body back. My grandmother is worried. My mother is convinced that I will perish. The risk of death is very low, and probably not much higher than when I am in the U.S. But it is always there. It is with such uncertainty that I prepare.
            If I die, I want you to know a few things in my absence.
            If I die, know that I love you. This isn’t directed to anyone specific. A general “I love you” directed towards many specific people. To my family, even when we butt heads. To my friends from my hometown and home church, I may not always keep up with you, but I have not forgotten you guys. To those I’ve met in various college ventures: those at the BCM and in NRTL, my neighbors in my dorm, the random people I come into contact with and build a relationship with. To those at my adopted church, and those at Created Equal. The love that God shows me has taught me how to love. Though I can’t ever love like Him, I see the sacrifice His love produced, and I in turn give that to you.
            If I die, know that I care about you. I know I’m sarcastic, awkward and occasionally creepy. If I didn’t know you well enough, I wouldn’t act the way I do. I do it because I’m comfortable with you. And I care about what’s going on in your life. I can sense when something’s bothering you, and it pains me when something pains you.
            If I die, know that you’ve had an impact on me. If you’re reading this, you have probably affected me in some way. I hope that I have affected you.
            If I die, know that it is not an accident that we knew each other. I believe God has put every individual in my life for a reason. If I didn’t see you as worth knowing, I wouldn’t take the time. I want you in my life.
            If I die, know that I have never allowed differences to separate us. You know I have strong opinions and beliefs. I believe truth is narrowly defined and live by it the best I can. If you’re a Christian or not a Christian, I love you. If you’re liberal or conservative or somewhere else, I love you. If you’re straight or gay, I love you. Though I may not agree with you or the way you live your life in some aspects, I care about you.
            If I die, know that it is for a purpose. If it’s an accident or whether I’m murdered for my faith, God has allowed it for the furtherance of His work. It’s not just Him choosing, I’ve given myself up to be used in what capacity He wants to use me. I don’t know that I’m to the point of saying that I’m willing to die if that is how God can best use me, but I’m striving to get there. That is sacrificial, biblical Christianity. But know that I will be in a far better place, and I’m hoping to see you again some day.
            If I die, know that I want you to experience what I have. I knew where Jesus was for a long time but never found Him. Perhaps you knew me before then, I can’t forget it. Jesus has made a difference in my life, and He will in any life that lets Him in. There is nothing short of Him or added to Him that makes life worth living. At least give it a shot, check out Christianity and see if it’s the real thing.
            If I die, donate the little money I have to something meaningful. Donate it to stop oppression: abortion, sex trafficking, and the like. Be sure the organizations are Christ-driven and proclaimers of the true gospel- that Jesus alone saves us. He is Who can truly deliver from oppression.
            If I die, post the blog articles I’ve written. The instructions are in my desk at NKU.
            If I die, don’t make my funeral too sorrowful. Preach the gospel and tell some of the ridiculous stories I’ve managed to be a part of. Know I’m better off where I am.
            Oh, and of course, cheer on my Franklin and NKU teams.
            Hopefully I’ll see you upon my return. That’s my plan and what likely will happen. But since seemingly unfair things happen, it never hurts to be cautious.
            If I haven’t mentioned it enough, I love you all and am thankful that you have been a part of my life. Relationships are what make life great, and I’ve been blessed to be around great people.

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. –Job 19:25-27

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