Eternity is rushing towards us.
You and everyone else must be ready.
I had a great conversation with a waitress the other night. It was a wonderful give-and-take with Serena, but I literally have not heard that many “F-bombs” in ages! That word rolled off her tongue like we would say “and,” “or,” “the,” or “but.”
Interestingly, my Bible was on my table, and she had already seen it, but it didn’t stop her behavior. She was just who she was. I actually kind of liked that. She wasn’t going to be putting on any airs because a Christian man was sitting at her table. The reason I thought this would be a good conversation is because, when I started asking her deeper questions, I knew she would be honest.
On the Other Side
She said that if she believed in anything at all, it would be reincarnation. When I let her know that reincarnation is actually a curse and not a blessing, it caused her to pause a bit. But she knew there had to be something out there when she died because she believed she had a soul or a spirit.
So, I gave her three letters to think about: “JPT.” Then I began to relay some scenarios to her. “When you go to a coffee shop, you might be there for an hour. You arrive, and then you leave. Just passing through.”
Then I asked, “You ever been to a gas station?” She let me know that she had. I said, “You might spend ten minutes there. You arrive, and then you leave. You’re just passing through.”
“Ever been to college?” A lot of people have. You might spend four years there, or if you go to the University of Alabama because your grades weren’t high enough to get into Auburn, it might take you six years to finish! But you were just passing through that college.
“Ever driven a car into a tunnel?” You had better be just passing through, for sure!
“Ever been to a graveyard and looked at a tombstone?” On a headstone, that dash between the date of birth and the date of death really just means one thing: That person was just passing through.
“I came into this restaurant, Serena, and I will leave. Might spend a couple of hours here, but you know what? I am just passing through.”
I let her know that life is the same way; you are born and then you die. You might live 20 years (she was in her early 20s), or you might live threescore and ten years (A faithful servant of the Lord turned 70 today. It was so great to chat with him. I encouraged him for his soul-winning and thanked him for finishing the race well!). But you know what? All of us are just passing through this thing called life.
The Brevity of Life
Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.
Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.”
Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, and are spent without hope.
(For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow:)
I talked with another friend who had a birthday today. I met him as a teenager at a sports camp where he enjoyed dunking on me! He turned 44 today! One thing we chatted about was the brevity of life and how quickly it all goes by.
Then Serena opened up about her father, who had recently passed, and how she was really, really hoping to see him again. They had a great relationship. “JPT” made sense to her because her father had passed out of this life and into the next.
Planting and Watering
Then she told me something very interesting. Recently, people from different walks of life have come into her life to talk about religion. That is how some people describe a Christian who witnesses to them. It was pretty evident to her that something was up for all of these people to cross her path since her dad died. She took a Paradise book, a One Heartbeat Away book, and both booklets (One Second After You… and The Second Greatest Lie). Please pray for the Lord to shower a ton of water on those seeds that have been planted in her.
So, in some conversations, I will just say “JPT.” The other person always asks, “What does that mean?” I explain Just Passing Through to them and use a couple of examples from situations in life where we are just passing through. Then I let them know we are just passing through life and ask, “What do you think happens after this?” It is a great question and an easy way to get into a witnessing conversation with someone.
Have a blessed day in the Lord! Remember JPT. You are just passing through this life. Do something today that will have an eternal impact on someone’s life.
Until the Nets are Full,
P.S. A couple of days after I wrote this newsletter, I wound up in a coffee shop having a conversation with nine or ten college folks! It was really a fun give-and-take.
I used “Just Passing Through” with them because I wanted to remind them of what is and isn’t important and what should have more of their focus during these days.
Later in the conversation, I just tossed out, “JPT.” One of the guys looked at me with big eyes and said, “Just Passing Through.” That statement seemed to really resonate with him. They all took books and booklets. Please say a prayer for their souls.
P.P.S. I have been telling people for years that if you own an electronic copy of a book, yes, the company that platforms that book can alter it. It also means that, yes, they can delete it from your device whenever they feel like it.
What does this mean? If you like a book and want to keep it for a long time and/or want to pass copies of it down through your family or to others, you might want to have hard copies of those books on hand, and probably multiple copies of them, so you can bless others with them down the road as well.