If I die young bury me in satin,
lay me down on a bed of roses,
sink me in the river at dawn,
send me away with the words of a love song.
–If I Die Young
I’ve often thought that there is much more to be learned at a funeral than a wedding – wouldn’t you agree? Sure, it’s fun to see our friends and family pledge their everlasting vows to each other, get some free food, then tie soda cans on the back of the couples’ exit vehicle, but…
Funerals have a way of pulling back the curtain of life and exposing us to the reality of death.
And if you’re willing to look inside yourself, that glimpse into the beyond should shake up the little snow scene of your life and give you a new perspective - not a depressing one, rather a hopeful and expectant viewpoint of just how priceless is our time on earth.
That’s the idea behind The Band Perry’s "If I Die Young" – a song meant to clear out the barrage of trivial thoughts that often deceive us into thinking that we are immortal.
And perhaps we are – at least in the sense that the great preacher George Whitfield exclaimed:
“We are immortal until our work on earth is done!”
When you think about it, whether we die young or die old is really not the critical concern of the Christian life. The unbeliever may deny death, run away from it, or even try to cheat it. For us who have placed our eternal destiny in the nailed scarred hands of Jesus Christ, our mission is clear:
This wonderful Latin expression goes way beyond a simple translation of “seize the day.” The imagery here is one of “enjoy the day,” or literally “pluck the day when it is ripe.”
Many people take this encouragement as living for our own pleasures and amusements…how sorrowful and self indulgent! For me, “living is for Christ, and dying is even more gain” (Philippians 1:21) – which is why carpe diem for the Christian looks more like this:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing praises to God, while the other prisoners listened. Suddenly a strong earthquake shook the jail to its foundations. The doors opened, and the chains fell from all the prisoners.
When the jailer woke up and saw that the doors were open, he thought that the prisoners had escaped. He pulled out his sword and was about to kill himself. But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! No one has escaped."
The jailer asked for a torch and went into the jail. He was shaking all over as he knelt down in front of Paul and Silas. After he had led them out of the jail, he asked, "What must I do to be saved?"
They replied, "Have faith in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved! (Acts 16:25-31).
Here are two Christ followers who have just been beaten badly by a hostile crowd and thrown into a dark jail cell. But rather than bemoan and complain about their situation, they chose to conduct an all-out praise and worship session to the Lord Jesus Christ!
Now THAT is carpe diem!
And what happened as a result? God broke open the prison doors and gave the disciples a chance to show the jailer that his salvation was worth more than their escape.
And just like Paul and Silas, we can sometimes find ourselves in a prison of emotional distress, disappointing circumstances, and overwhelming schedules. But guess what?
You’re alive! Another day has been granted to you, so sing praises to the One who is keeping your heart beating even at this moment!
And when you do, you’ll feel the free air that the Holy Spirit delivers your way. Not only that, but you’ll see the opportunities to live out THE Cause as you cross paths with those who desperately need to know the answer to the question: “What must I do to be saved?”
And if I die young, I want my last song to mirror the parting words of the Apostle Paul – the Christ follower who lived out the very definition of seizing his day:
As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me-the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
The popularity of If I Die Young demonstrates the idea that many in our culture truly desire to live life to the fullest and with no regrets. Take this opportunity to discuss the reality of death and the value of life with your friends in an effort to share the gospel with them this week.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, thank you so very much for giving us life and breath and a chance to be used by you to seize the day for You and Your Kingdom. Holy Spirit, please put a deep passion for souls in our hearts each day as we live out THE Cause for the glory of the Father.
Read: Ecclesiastes 11:3-4.
If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain on the earth.
Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there it will lie.
Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.
Get: Add some umph to your faith-sharing passion and pick up a copy of Firestarter!