Monday, January 31, 2011

The Methuselah Life

Our dear friend Matthew Barr passed away this week end. He is 5 1/2 years old.

It was about 15 months ago that doctors said Matthew only had weeks to live. But Matthew proved them wrong. He fought an incredible fight.

I have never heard a voice sound as pure and innocent as Matthew's. It is as angelic as his face. I was always amazed that a boy with such amazing fight and courage could have such a sweet voice. I was always taken back by how small he looked on the large hospital beds on the cancer floor at Children's. He would be surrounded by IV and monitor lines. But I would feel so relaxed as I watched him sit there playing with his trucks, wearing that wonderful calm smile.

Matthew never gave up. he fought to the end, and is now free from cancer and pain.

But the pain still remains for the rest of us, especially his family. As Bob Dylan says, "When you have nothing to lose, that's when you find out you can still lose a little bit more."

I believe that the purpose of life is not found in the number of our years. Rather, it is found in the impact we have on others. Matthew Barr impacted every one who meet him.
The other day a friend told me about a guy by the name of Methuselah. Apparently Methuselah is mentioned in the Bible as the oldest guy to ever live. According to the Bible he was 969 years old. I'm not really sure how all that worked. Maybe his wife just told people that to get some sympathy. But odds are Methuselah was about the oldest guy around.
I was told that story the day before Matthew passed away. I've thought a lot about it. In 5 1/2 years, while fighting cancer, Matthew was still able to impact thousands. He became a living example of what is good and strong and pure. In 5 1/2 years, he had a greater impact than I have in 50 years.
It seems I sometimes live as though I am Methuselah, like I have all the time in the world. Like I could accomplish so much, if just given enough years. But that's not how the deal works. It's doubtful I'll live to be 969 year old. And actually tomorrow is not a guarantee. All I have is now. Nothing else is for sure.
Cancer stole Matthew. But it could not steal him impact on this earth. So what are all my years worth, if I am not impacting others, changing the world? Even if I live to be 100, within a couple of generations even my own family will have forgotten me. All the matters is the impact. And the only time I have for sure is now.
So how important is this one day? Well, I know how hard Matthew fought to receive it. And so did Mason, Zac, Alexis, Kelsey, Rachael, Matt, AJ, Ryan, Trey, Robbie, and so many others. But they were denied. They fought with their life for this day that was so freely handed to me. What have I done with it?
The clock is ticking. It never stops. The only question is this. Will I be Methuselah, living like there will always be more time? Or will I be Matthew, living and cherishing every moment, impacting other for good?
At the beginning of each day, life asks me that question. As each day ends, I've given my answer.

Don't say you don't have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein - H. Jackson Browne

I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moments gone. - Kansas

And though you want to last forever, You know you never will. And the good-bye makes the journey harder still. -Cat Stevens

Conduct yourselves wisely, making the best use of the time -Colossians 4:5

You have a gift and you best start using it, cause if you don't, your gonna wind up losing it. So get busy like a school boy making an "A", cause time my brother is ticking away. -DC Talk


EmpowerOnline said...

Your great Alfriend. I think everybody should read this blog atleast once.

Anonymous said...

As always a powerful, thoughtful message. Thanks for bringing these stories to us. With your usual insightful way it helps me put my day into proper prospective.

I think you underestimate your own impact.


Art said...

God Bless you for your words.

Anonymous said...

Well said....