Not sure what prompted a mentor of mine to tell me this particular story. Maybe she saw that I was going a hundred miles a minute with no brakes. Or that I had bitten off more at a time that I could possibly chew. Whatever it was, I remember her recounting the story of a head janitor that fell dead in the school office and the principal bending over, unhooking the master keys and passing it on to the next janitor.
I’m sure there was some wailing and carrying at that moment. I’m pretty sure blood pressures were sky high and tears flowed down like the River Nile. I’m even sure that the memorial service for this head janitor was packed to the gills. I’m sure his loved ones miss that dear man deeply and that life without him is unbearable.
I am also sure that life still went on.
We rise from bed, we drink our coffee and we start each day. Some of us pray. Some of us don’t. Our days are filled with agendas, meetings, conference calls, classes, all sorts of activities that keep us busy busy busy.
When a life is cut short be it at twenty or ninety we seldom pause to take stock of our respective lives and ask God:
Am I where I need to be? Am I doing what I should be doing? What am I driven by? Why do I even bother?
Experiencing loss is the worse and the best thing that can take place. Worse in that the devastation that grips you and won’t release its hold can lay you real low. But best in that while you are out for the count, God does His best work in you. Paradigms shift. Transformation takes place. Dead skin is shed. And you walk away changed.
I guess my mentor was trying to drive home the point that all this right here wasn’t worth a damn at the end of the day. That the Ecclesiastical outlook on life is the real truth. You are born. You live. You die. What’s done in between makes a world of a difference. Your eternity’s destination is the final call.
Because when they reach over your body and hand the keys to someone else, it cannot be all for naught.