When I heard about the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris I, like everyone else, was extremely saddened. I’ve been inside the church before. Looked at the beautiful stained glass. Listened to the choir sing. Marveled at the ornate structure and priceless artwork. I’m happy I got a chance to see it, but sad for the loss to the French people and future generations of visitors.
As I was thinking about it last night, however, another thought came to mind. The cathedral survived for 800 years and it was a shock to see it go. You and I will survive for only about 80 years and the end won’t really be a shock because we all know our time here on earth is limited. Someday, you and I will be the “lost cathedral” that those around us mourn. Subtract your current age from 80 and that’s about how much time you have. Some a little more, some a little less. Really understanding that should give you a sense of urgency and cause some important changes in your life. It should change your perspective, your actions, your relationships, your willingness to reconcile, your worries, your fears, your priorities and any number of other things. Don’t let that lesson pass without internalizing it and applying it in your everyday life.
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting life is.” – Psalm 39:4
P.S. If you’re interested, here’s an article I wrote a while back on my trip to Paris.