In England, they are preparing to bury King Richard III … again. Seems his remains were missing for centuries until someone found his grave under a parking lot. Richard died in 1485, the last English king to be killed in battle. According to research, his body was rudely treated after suffering multiple blows to the head and body, then hurriedly buried in a small plot in the Grey Friars Church. The church evidently gave way to new development, including the construction of a parking lot. After much conversation and some controversy, it has been decided to reinter the king in something he did not have when he died, a simple coffin of English oak and yew. This time, there will be pomp and ceremony before his bones will be laid to rest in Leicester Cathedral, just a short distance from the spot where the discovery was made.
What does King Richard have to do with you and me? Other than just an interesting story about English royalty, it reminds us how fleeting life truly is. James wrote, “Look here, you people who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone.” (James 4:14,15)
Without trying to dwell on the morbid, we don’t have the guarantee of tomorrow. Every funeral I preach, I seek to remind people that life is too precious to waste. Time flies, and we must cherish things that matter. You will never have anything as valuable as relationships. The people God puts in my life are gifts, even the ones that are difficult and challenging.
Regardless of those who believe in reincarnation, we don’t get a mulligan. We don’t get to live a day over again. My body tells me frequently that things are changing. Life moves on. Time is short. So, if the path is not as long as it once was, it is even more important to follow the advice of the proverb: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Don’t lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5,6)
So, Carpe diem! Seize the day. Just to help you out:
“Life is too short to worry about what others say or think about you. Have fun and give them something to talk about.”
“Life is too short to be serious all the time. If you can’t laugh at yourself, call me … I’ll laugh at you.”