There is an old Rich Mullins song (btw, I am a huge fan of his music...so deep and rich) called Elijah about the Old Testament prophet who famously was taken up to Heaven in a chariot of fire (and therefore never died). In the chorus he says, "when I leave I wanna go out like Elijah, with a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire."
I often joke that my dream is to be the second man ever to go out like Elijah. I mean how cool would it be to go to Heaven on a chariot of fire? Now, I realize this is unlikely. This has only happened one time ever (you can read the story in 2 Kings 2) and it's way more likely that I'll die a more normal death...but it would be cool.
In fact, none of us get to know how or even when we will see our last day. We don't get to pick the method or the hour. We have to leave those things up to God who alone knows the number of our days. But we can work to use our days well. Each day is a gift and one we should honor by not wasting it.
Recently it does seem like our church, and even my own personal life, has been visited by loss and grief more than its share. I've done and attended more funerals than I would like...and while that has been painful; it has also reminded me of the value of each day, each person, and even each moment.
I remember the words of James 4 that reminds us how short life is "you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
Our life is short, how short we do not know, but we can use each day well, love those around us, serve God with our whole hearts and at the end of our days know that we have given it our all.
And hey, maybe, just maybe...I'll get to ride a chariot made of fire. You never know.