When Is Checkout?

Motels and hotels usually post their check-out time on their website, on the door of your room, and in the lobby of the establishment.  You can see those reminders and know that you have only a certain amount of time to get your things in order and be prepared to leave. 


Life is not like that!  We don’t know the day and hour of our departure from this earth.  Some people who are suffering from terminal illnesses are told they have only a while to live, but no one knows the exact date and time of their passing.  One thing we do know, life on this earth is really very short.  A young person who looks at life may think, “Wow, it will be a long time before I’m old!”  However, I will soon be 60 years old and I’ve been around long enough to know that life is much shorter than we ever imagined.  And for some, life ends unexpectedly at a tragically young age. 


Life is, and it isn’t, short.  The average life-span on this earth is about 80 years, which isn’t very long.  However, once we leave this life, our real life begins . . . and lasts for an eternity.  As we continue to ponder the issue of “What is our reason for existing?” or “What is our purpose?”, we must first understand the reality that this earth is only a “temporary assignment.”  In Psalm 39:4, David calls out to God, “Lord, help me to realize how brief my time on earth will be.  Help me to know that I am here for but a moment more” (The Message).


For the Christian, such a realization should lead us to put aside our desires and concerns for the temporary things of this earth and focus upon the character God wants to create in us as preparation for our heavenly home.  Unfortunately, too many Christians forget this truth and become as obsessed with material things as those who have no understanding of God’s plan.  Lest you think that I am promoting living as a monk, or suggesting that you sell all your possessions, let me clarify this point.  I don’t think that having some of life’s trappings (i.e. television, car, home, etc.) is bad.  The problem lies in the attitude that leads the Christian to want more and more and more, and letting that desire dominate your life. 


Our focus is to be on other things.  If heaven is our home, then we are truly strangers in a foreign land as David expresses in Psalm 119:19, and the Apostle Paul in Philippians 3:20.  Once we received Christ, our citizenship changed.  Therefore, we should be much more concerned with heavenly issues than earthly.


As we close today’s post I want to remind us of what I said last week (and the week before), “It’s not about you.”  Life is about our relationship with Jesus Christ, and preparing for our heavenly home. In other words, “It’s all about Him.”  Paul Oakley wrote a song, Jesus, Lover of My Soul, which is subtitled, “It’s All About You.”  Let me share the first verse:


“It’s all about you, Jesus

And all this is for You

For Your glory and Your fame

It’s not about me

As if you should do things my way

You alone are God and I surrender

To Your ways”


You can discover fully what your life is all about when you are ready to surrender yourself completely to Jesus and humbly declare, “It’s all about You, Jesus!”