Seen a lot of skeletons lately? I have. They seem to be everywhere these days—lying in garden beds, hanging from trees, lining the clearance aisles at the store. And while these skeletons are mere plastic replicas of the real thing, they serve as a reminder. Not just to buy tons of candy to pass out to costumed kids over the weekend. No, they are a reminder of something much more sobering.
Beneath our fashionable clothes and beyond our fading flesh, a skeleton is what holds us together. And when we’re gone, that skeleton is all that will be left of our bodies.
During a trip to a third world country, I walked through an impoverished graveyard where skeletons lined the pathways. My face-to-face encounter with those empty eye sockets and fleshless bones awakened me to the reality of my own mortality. I won’t be here long, no matter how slowly time seems to pass.
It’s easy to get sucked in to the monotonous routine of everyday life, forgetting how fleeting it all is. It’s tempting to invest time and resources on the needs and desires of my flesh, neglecting to consider it’s just a temporary house. How many hours have I spent worrying about how I look or how others perceive my external appearance, when this flesh is destined for the grave?
We are more, so much more. And life is more, so much more. When I stare at the skeletons in the neighborhood yards, I’m reminded again and again. I don’t want to live for short-lived gratification. I want my life to count for something that won’t rot in a casket with my bones.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)