I couldn't believe it. People were limping, crying, running, escaping from the madness of the finish line in Boston. People starting the race fiddling with their earbuds and thinking about where to grab a beer after the run. Gone. Sitting in a hotel room in Nashville, my heart broke. How many dreams just got crushed in that brief puff of smoke? How many people's lives changed forever?
We are all one terrorist attack away from having everything we love, work for, worry over, and pour our lives into vanish forever. One tiny mistake on the interstate, one small tick in our heartbeat, one insignificant choice can end everything.
As a Christ-follower, I believe that this space between the time I'm born and when I die is a very short, temporary (although crucial) part of my existence. I also believe that I have an all-powerful God that really, honestly has my best interest in mind. (It's crazy, but this is stuff Jesus actually said- if you want to know where I'm getting this from, check this out.)
This perspective is what gives me a deep strength to live the fullest, most passion-filled life I can and have no fear of dying.
Rewind to a year ago about this time. I'm laying in a hospital bed trying to recover from a burst appendix that had sat in my gut about 5 days longer than it should have. I was not getting well- I had lost 30 pounds in just over a week, was running very high temperatures and having severe complications with blood poisoning. The doctors were worried.
I was borderline delirious most of the time, but in my lucid moments, I remember staring out the window of my hospital room over the Missouri River and thinking over and over again that I am so thankful for my wife, for my family and for my career as a musician. I remember thinking I was fine with it if this was how it was all going to end for me. If this was what God wanted for me and I'd accomplished what I needed to during this stage of my existence, then I'm okay with moving on. I was not afraid of death.
14 days in the hospital and one more excruciating surgery later, I was heading home. Tim McGraw was playing in the lobby of the hospital as they wheeled me to the car. Surreal. Things were transitioning back to normal, but I was changed forever.
I am going to die. You are, too. You can either let it terrify you, you can ignore it, or just live like you're never going to stop. Or you trust someone that cares more for you than you can imagine, and whether you live or die, has a plan for who you are and where you're going.
In no way am I trying to minimize the massive loss in Boston today. It is an incredible, unprecendented tragedy that is deeply disturbing. I am so thankful that this life is only a short part of who we are.