An Alarming Reality

Recently I was awakened from a sound sleep by a beeping sound coming from somewhere in the darkness of the house. Beep Beep! What is that? Beep Beep! My husband and I began a bleary-eyed search for the source coming from somewhere upstairs.

It was our Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector.

Our model didn’t have an information screen so we didn’t know at first if the beeping was caused by the presence of CO or a technical glitch in the detector. We opened all the windows and turned on all ceiling fans as I quickly consulted the owner’s manual online.

Two beeps every 30 seconds.

Right there in the troubleshooting chart the beeps were interpreted. Two beeps every 30 seconds meant the CO detector had reached its seven-year life expectancy and could no longer be trusted to measure CO in our home.

The unit needed to be replaced.

After ordering a new detector on Amazon, we returned to bed only to be awakened again a short time later. Again we heard the same sound. Beep Beep! This time the downstairs CO detector was alarming. It, too, had just reached its seven-year expiration date! We didn’t panic.

Seven years ago this month we moved into our home. The two CO monitors had been installed in our home to pass home inspection so the house would sell. Perfect timing. Both monitors lasted exactly seven years.

Both monitors stopped in a moment.

I woke up last Monday to news that a friend passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. He was a strong believer and a winsome witness for Jesus. He is now safely in heaven, but his family received alarming news that his life on earth was over.

“Man’s days are determined; you (God) have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed” (Job 14:5).

And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. (Acts 17:26-27)

Our life on earth has an expiration date.

I don’t want to be glib and infer in any way that a CO detector is analogous to a human life. It is not, but just like the monitors stopped working, so will our bodies. There will be a last heartbeat. There will be a last breath.

What will the world write about us? 

Here is Randy’s career paragraph:

Randy Newman is the Senior Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism at the C.S. Lewis Institute. He has taught at several evangelical seminaries. After serving for over 30 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, he established Connection Points, a ministry to help Christians engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did. He has written seven books, Questioning EvangelismCorner ConversationsBringing the Gospel HomeEngaging with Jewish People, Unlikely Converts: Improbable Stories of Faith and What They Teach Us About Evangelism, Mere Evangelism. and his most recent, Questioning Faith: Indirect Journeys of Belief through Terrains of Doubt. Randy has also written numerous articles about evangelism and other ways our lives intertwine with God’s creation. He earned his MDiv and PhD in Intercultural Studies from Trinity International University.

What will our family write about us?

As I read Randy’s obituary HERE, I learned he loved his grandchildren so much that he moved from Virginia to Texas in order to live down the street from them. I learned he adored his wife. I learned that his love for good music did not wane over the years since I have known him.

Are we living toward what we want written?

Of course God can do whatever He wants with our lives and we have no control over how others respond to us, but we can use our overarching desires as guides for decisions being made today.

My life has not been fancy. I am a simple woman who dreams that God uses my life to expand heaven and mature the body of Christ. I hope to be described as kind, generous, and as someone who loved God and people well. I want my children to know it was an honor to be their mom and my husband to be assured I loved him. I hope to be remembered as a woman who invested in the lives of people sacrificially and gently but with a relentless aim toward pointing people to Jesus. In countless ways, I can set my life on a trajectory that leads toward that description as I live each day. When deciding whether to facilitate a Bible study or babysit grandchildren, it is easier to make decisions when my direction is clear. You can do the same with how you believe God has asked you to live.

Death is going to happen.

Our loved ones will receive the alarming news of our passing one day. They will stumble around in the darkness of grief for a while, and then they will write our obituary. Psalm 90:12 says, “So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.” We get to live wisely because we know this life doesn’t last forever!

Let’s decide to live life well! 

Picture Explanation: To Dr. Randy Newman — Well done, good and faithful servant. I wrote about you in Live ABOVE the Chaos. Though your name was not mentioned, a scene I describe had you and your wife in it. We worked together during a very difficult season in my life and you never got to see what God ended up doing with me. Thank you for living and loving people so well.

Speaking of living our short life well: Our summer online study is underway! If you are interested in participating in an online One Gritty Blink Bible study this fall, click on the Oaks Ministries link below and send me an email so I can place you on a list to be contacted as online and face-to-face studies are planned. Let’s not just focus on things in this short life, but also what counts for eternity.

Note: No part of my posts are derived from A.I. Thoughts and writing stem from my mind and heart as I process life week-by-week and continue to grow in my understanding of God and how to apply His wisdom to the world around me.

© 2024 by Oaks Ministries. All rights reserved.

6 Responses

  1. Laurie, in my heart you will always remember you as kind and generous and that you loved people very well. I am one of those people, and my life has been so blessed by yours!

  2. Laurie, in my heart you will always be remembered as kind, generous and as someone who loved people very well! I am one of those people that you have loved well! My relationship with Jesus became more real and intimate through your love for Him! Your love for God’s word challenged me to memorize scripture, which I am so thankful to have stored in my heart! I cherish your friendship, and I am very thankful to the Lord for you! I love you!❤️

  3. Hi, Friend. You have once again taken a simple life event and turned it into a metaphor for living. I love the creative gift that God has given you. He put this post together. The week you get the news about Randy is the same week that your carbon monoxide alarms go off. Thank you for being sensitive to the Lord’s Spirit and for the faithful and diligent work of using your gift weekly. May the Lord continue to use your faithful offerings to do “mustard seed math” for his kingdom. I love you, friend!

    1. I am banking on the mustard seed math. We will see what he did with our offerings one day and will be flabbergasted.

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I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes growth.

1 Corinthians 3:6

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