In The End, Most Of This Doesn’t Matter

I watched my grandfather, who lived to be 93 years of age, lie in bed after his wife had passed. He was dealing with a lot of sorrow after she had moved on to her eternal life. He would just stay in bed most of the time. I had a few limited interactions with him within those few months between my grandmother’s and his passing. He only held on for a short time before he, too, moved on.

I only knew minimal information about the life my grandparents had together. I had heard from different family members that they had their struggles, as most marriages do, but I had also seen just how much of an effort they had made to stay together through the thick and thin. They had a lot of valuable things to pass along to their seven children and numerous grandchildren. They had many years of experience of living through some of the hardest times. The Great Depression, WW2 and many recessions, as well as going without in order for the children to have were some of the things my grandparents lived through and sacrificed for. At times, their lives were so much more difficult than the lives we are currently able to live here in America.

I learned a great deal from the old man I called, “grandpa.”

As I was speaking to him at certain times towards the end of his life, I recall him saying, “you can have it,” many times. Even though I didn’t realize it at the time, as I was much younger than I am now, I can now see something else that came from those words. A defined meaning.

My grandfather was slowing down. He was using a cane more often to get around. I recall a restaurant my parents and I had taken he and my grandmother to for Valentine’s Day shortly before my grandma had passed, and the walk within the restaurant was just too much for him to handle. He had to sit down at one point between the walk to a place where an area had been set up for Valentine’s Day pictures and the table we had sat at to eat our dinner. It was the first memorable glimpse at a man who was becoming much different than the way he had been as I was growing up next to him. He was always energetic, and although retired, a very hard worker. He always kept his mind and body busy. He and I had fun as we would build stuff, go fishing and work in his yard. He taught me how to use my hands. He also taught me how to use my head.

As he was slowing down, the good Lord had decided to take my grandmother home. I could honestly tell that this had truly broken my grandpa’s heart. It was really confirmed as I watched him lie in bed for a few months with little food, little movement and many different emotions that would pour from his eyes and mouth that expressed the life he and my grandma had shared for all of those years. A sadness and torment that my grandpa would never let me see, now, freely exposed. He was nearing the end of the life here, and I believe he was letting everything go, even those personal things within that he was feeling. Much like the things he had started giving away when he began saying, “you can have it.”

Today, I was blessed to rise and see another day of God’s choosing. Sometimes I wonder if I will rise again when I lay my body down to rest at night. I wonder this often. I sometimes wonder what the next day will bring if I am to rise. I celebrated my fortieth birthday yesterday, and it had me thinking about all that I have been through up until this point. It had me wondering about how much more time there is here in this life of mine. What will I do as the days go on? Will I live to see ninety-something years like my grandfather? Will my wife die before I? Will I lie in bed and weep like my grandfather had? Will I be fishing with my grandson, in years to come? Will I see all of those whom are now in the heavenly realm, when I pass?

I had heard my eldest uncle say, “Take it one day at a time” at one point when I was much younger. He was my grandfather’s oldest, and he was much like my grandpa. Although, I really didn’t know him all that well. I do hold onto that advice, though. Taking things one day at a time, much like the song goes, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus…”

I’m only human, I’m just a man/woman
Help me believe in what I could be
And all that I am
Show me the stairway I have to climb
Lord for my sake, help me to take
One day at a time

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m askin’ of you
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time

Do you remember when you walked among men
Well Jesus you know
If you’re lookin’ below, it’s worse now than then
Pushin’ and shovin’ and crowdin’ my mind
So for my sake, teach me to take
One day at a time

One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all I’m askin’ of you
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine
Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time

I have a lot of questions as I go about this journey. I wrestle with my duty as a child of God. I go through the many emotions and mental afflictions that are a part of me. I struggle with the sins of the world and of this flesh. I question the Lord and the whats, whens, wheres whys and hows He has for me. But, like my grandmother, my grandfather, my eldest uncle and the majority of all of my family, I have faith. Faith, in Jesus Christ. After all is said and done, whether it be at the end of the day, the end of the life that I know is drawing near or within that possible moment I take my last breath as I sleep, I am destined to be with the Lord. I am washed in the blood. I am saved.

In the end, all of this stuff here, really doesn’t matter all that much. The material. The money. The emotions. The past. The scars. The regrets we may have. The things we have done wrong or right, the mistakes or the heartaches. Nothing, really. What does matter, and what is the greatest necessity of life, is what we choose to do with Jesus. We must choose Him, and Him alone, in order to be with our Lord for the eternal to come. In order to not find what the, “outer darkness,” or, “separation from Him,” truly is. In order to not find ourselves apart from His love. In Him, we are given the opportunity to have the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control in this life. In Him, we are promised perfect, eternal peace, in the life to come.

As I watched my grandfather raise His head up to give me one last look before he passed away at the hospital, just days before Christmas in 2000, he didn’t say anything. He just looked at me. I don’t know what he was thinking at that moment. As I look back and wonder just what it was that he may have been thinking at that second, I realize a simple fact: he ways going to go on shortly after. I also realize that he was not taking anything with him. Only God knows what my grandpa was as a spiritual being, and whatever moved on with him as that spirit is between him and the Lord. But, I know that my grandpa didn’t take the pain. The hurt. The regrets. The sorrows. The battle within the flesh. The sins. The material things or the money that amounted to nothing in the end. He did take His devotion to the Lord through Jesus Christ: the only thing that mattered.

7 thoughts on “In The End, Most Of This Doesn’t Matter

  1. Amen! We brought nothing into this world and we take nothing out. The only thing that will matter on that day is our relationship with God through Christ. I have also lost people in my life and know the brevity of it all. I often tell people just what you said. Take it one day at a time. That’s all God gives us. Good post, man. Have a blessed day!

    Liked by 1 person

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