And Then What?
I was reading an article that depicted a father talking to his young son. He asked his son if he had given any thought to his future. He might have been a bit surprised to hear the boy say that he had it all figured out. The father asked his son to tell him about his plans. The son proceeded to tell him that after he graduated from high school he would go on to college. “Fine, son; then what?” His son stated that after he graduated from college he’d get a well paying job and buy a big house and a nice car. “Great, son; then what?” The boy said he’d then get married and raise a family, just like his dad. “Wonderful, son; then what?” Well, the son figured that he’d probably work until he was old enough to retire. “Excellent, son; then what?” Perhaps somewhat perplexed by this time by his father’s continued inquiries, the son figured he’d live out his golden years traveling and enjoying his grandchildren. “Splendid, son; then what?” Realizing the inevitable, the young man said he’d die, of course! And then his father looked straight into his son’s eyes and asked one last time, “Okay, son; then what??”
A wise person takes time to plan. A married couple plans their finances so they can afford to buy a home. They plan the size of family they want to raise. They plan for the children’s education, even going so far as to set up a savings plan, shortly after each child is born, for their college education.
People make sure they have car insurance before they drive their car on the roads. They buy health insurance to cover the event of serious illness or injury. They buy life insurance to protect the family against the loss of a loved one, particularly a bread winner. They set up a savings or pension plan of some kind to plan for retirement. People plan for vacations. All kinds of people carry day planners around with them to plan their daily schedules. It’s wise to plan!
But in the face of all the planning we typically do, so many of us carelessly fail to ask God into our plans (Jas. 4:13-17). It’s not surprising, then, that so many also fail to plan for the most important day of our existence, the day we’ll all stand before our Lord at judgment (2 Cor. 5:10). The young boy in the story related above sounded as though he had things planned out pretty well. He may well have given considerable thought to his life that lay before him. But it would appear that he had failed to plan for eternity, that which awaits all of us after this life is over. And that’s probably the way it is, to one degree or another, for most people.
Seventy, eighty, ninety or a hundred years sounds like a long time. But, it’s less than the blink of an eye compared to eternity. To give careful consideration to planning for the time we will spend in this life is wise. To give little thought to what lies just beyond this life is utter foolishness! Someone has said there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. No, the two most sure things are death and the judgment (Heb. 9:27). How have you planned for that ultimate day of reckoning? When you reach the point of first drawing in and then releasing that last breath of life in this physical world, then what???
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Gary L. Hutchens