In his book, Nearing Home, Billy Graham talks about growing old and taking advantage of life’s last leg of our journey home. He begins the book with this quote from Vance Havner: “The last chapter in life can be the best.”
Dr. Graham says that his wife Ruth always lived in the here and now. He called it her realm. He said she lived life by the simple creed to live fully in the present moment.
In Mark 14:3-11, we read the story of the woman who came to Jesus with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume and poured it over His head. Some were indignant and scolded the woman, saying this was a waste; the perfume should have been sold and the money given to the poor. But Jesus instructed them that this woman had chosen wisely. “The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial.” It was an example of living in the here and now.
I recall many occasions when I have failed to live in the here and now. I put something off because the timing didn’t seem right, the situation seemed awkward, or I couldn’t grasp the full sense of an idea that was tickling my mind. Then when God provided more vision later on what the result would have been had I acted on His prompting, I have often grieved over what was lost.
In my last chapter of life, I want to be better at living in the here and now. I want to be like Ruth Graham and the woman with the alabaster jar. I want to step out in obedience to the quiet voice of God even when I don’t understand. It will mean giving up control and sometimes walking in the dark. But it will also mean living the last chapter of my life with peace and joy. For those are fruits of the Spirit, the benefits of choosing God’s way over my own.