James 4:14,  “yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.”

What a powerful verse and one we rarely think about, life goes by in a blink of an eye. but were reminded of this past Sunday morning.   Waking up, we heard the devastating news that Kobe Bryant and eight others, including his 13-year-old daughter had perished in a helicopter accident. Lives, so vibrant, young, and full of life promise,  gone in a blink of an eye.

Though most of us did not know Kobe on a personal level, perhaps you went to his games, watched his career, or admired his dedication to his family and the sport, yet his sudden death touched us.  Why is that, perhaps it was the sudden jolt of reality that life is short, just a mist.   While they no longer will wake up to a new day of possibilities, we do, and life for us goes on, but also reminds us of the precious time we have left, if only for a moment with those we love.

It puts things in perspective. And while there is no explanation for tragedies like this, there are things we can take away from this tragedy, and I hope that they stay with you long past the immediate impact of this loss.

Each day is a gift; life is precious and not something to be taken for granted.   We never know moment by moment when we or a loved one will take their last breath, so live life to the fullest, focus on the things that matter.  I am sure Kobe would trade all his riches to be here and be with his family.  Keep the things that are truly important close to your heart.  Careers are great but do not let your work take priority over family.  Remember this – in  100 years who will remember you most, what is your legacy, the co-worker you spent hours with, or the loved ones you spent time with?

Focus on family and friends, hug them often, enjoy the moments with them and tell them you love them.   With the world of social media, we can take for granted a personal touch, the hugs, the face to face conversations, the in-person friendships.   Do not lose sight of spending time with those you love; a telephone call is better than an email,  and I love you, and hug is better than showing your “perfect” life on Facebook.   Spending quality time with loved ones is what is meaningful and everlasting.

Prepare,  death has no boundaries; we will all one day pass away; it does not matter if you are rich or poor, famous or not.  But death does not have to be the end.  As a Christian, I can say with certainty that death is only the beginning.

In the Bible, John 3:16 states – For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

I have that certainty, do you?   I can only hope and pray that Kobe and the others who died had that certainty, and I pray as the Nation does for those left behind.

Though the hope of eternal life does not take the pain away when a loved one dies, it does give us the promise that death is not the end.   Do you have that hope of eternity?

If not, do you want to learn how to?  In the coming weeks I will speak more on this, but if you are not sure you have eternal life, please reach out to me at joy@joythroughjoy.com