Small Talk

​Hey, hey.

Whaddup, they say.

What you doin today.

Gettin bored, by the way.
How are you?

I’m cool, too.

Nothin I wanna do.

What you up to.
But what I can’t tell you and what you don’t know

is that I don’t desire to hear how your morning goes –

or what you ate for breakfast or what game you played

or about what’s on TV or what whoops this celeb made.
Hi there.

What you gonna wear.

The weather is fair.

Boredom everywhere.
So don’t tell me about the safe and mediocre details

of the humdrum day of which you so complain.

Don’t tell me what so-and-so wore or the new CD

or about the job or the show or the fans or the rain.
Tell me about what makes your soul sing.

Tell me about what sets fire in your blood.

Tell me about what makes your heart beat double.
Sing to me of the injustices that touch you for another’s sake;

Or of the dreams you have, almost too fragile to breathe.

Don’t make pointless comments and flap your mouth for sound to me –

Sing to me of your destiny.
Don’t make small talk.

Talk big.

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Truth.

Let me be really, really straight with you for a second here.

You’re going to die someday.

It literally does not matter who you are reading this right now – this is absolutely true, 100% correct. Your days on earth are numbered. Each breath brings you closer to your last. Each second ticks you closer to the time when your clock stops.

The body you have now is already decaying. You can feel it, can’t you? You keep having to push things into it to keep it going. But even that’s not enough. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are, how much money you have, or what you think – you are mortal.

You’re going to die someday.

Marching on as if that fact isn’t real doesn’t help anyone. It’s coming. The castles you’re building in the sand, they’re not going with you. Whatever idol you’re praying to won’t help, because it’s an idol. Deaf and dumb and doesn’t care about you. I know you’re not on your knees in front of a golden calf. Idolatry is much more subtle, much more deadly in these last days. We don’t forge our false gods from gold and silver anymore, but we still have them, and they’re still just as dead. They come in so many forms.  Riches. Power. Businesses. A family legacy. Big houses. Healthy living. World views. Huge circles of friends. None of them are going to help you.

Because you’re going to die someday, and in that moment you’ll be completely alone – but for One.

The One Who made you, made the world, and decides which way you’re going.

Because you’re going to die someday, and you’re going either up or down.

Do you know which? Do you really know? Are you sure? Do you think you’ve earned your way up or do you just not care that you’re going down or do you just not really think about it in the hope that the ruthless fact will go away?

There is a Heaven. There is also a Hell. You don’t want to end up in there, trust me. Because your body is going to die, but your soul is eternal, and will continue either in eternal life, joy and peace or in eternal agony. I’m sure you don’t like it, but you don’t have to like it. It’s the truth. You might as well not like gravity; gravity doesn’t really care, you fall hard just the same.

You’re going to die someday and you don’t know when.

It could be in fifty years, lying in a hospice surrounded by mourning beloved. It could be gruesomely in six weeks, tangled in the mutilated remains of the car you saved up so diligently for. It could be tomorrow. None of us know when it’s coming, but rest assured that it is coming. You arrived here with your return ticket already punched.

And that truth is terrifying until you know the whole truth.

Because the whole truth is that for some of us, death will be life.

Some of us walk right up to that coming death and smile into its hideous face and throw our arms wide open and say, Come and get me. Because some of us know that the ultimate defeat of dying was made into the ultimate victory of life by the God we serve. We know it’s coming. We don’t know when. But we do know one thing with a rock-solid certainty: we’re going up. O death, where is thy sting? Chopped off with the flaming sword of the Word of God. We do not walk blindfolded. Oh no, we stare at that spectre day in and day out, laying our lives down and marching into the shadow of its wings. Serving the God Who knows it intimately.

But even in that darkest of nights, we fear no evil, for Thou art with me. Our God is with us and He is bigger than death. To die is gain, because our God died for us. Death is terrifying, but our God is bigger. So much bigger.

So the real question isn’t really if you know that death is coming. It’s not when you’re going to die. It’s not how open your eyes are.

The real question is, do you know Jesus? Do you really, personally know Him? Is your life His, so He can save it? Or will you cling to its last pitiful scraps to the very end?

Because as big and sheer and undeniable as the fact of death is, there’s another fact that’s even bigger, even more undeniable, even more real and solid. A fact that you don’t have to like, either – it doesn’t make it any less real. He made gravity. He made you. He overcame death.

That fact is God. And God is life. And God loves you.