Godspeed Jim

A close friend of over 20 years collapsed on a golf course in North Carolina late last Thursday afternoon, and later died at the hospital, victim of a massive heart attack.  At 62, Jim didn’t have an ounce of fat on him.  He was an avid runner and golfer, one of the most disciplined men I knew.  He hadn’t touch red meat in years.  He was also one of the nicest, humblest men I knew, a great family man and devoted to Jesus Christ.  I’m starting to come out of my daze, but I am going to miss that distinctive laugh.  We’ve been meeting in a Cursillo small-group for the last year every Monday morning, sharing our walk with Christ.  He’s going to sorely missed not only by me, but all the men of our group.

I guess if you live long enough this is an inevitable part of the last third of one’s life.  In such a low moment, Christ words to the Pharisees ring out (I imagine Jesus as an Aramaic Liam Neeson): “You are much misinformed.  He is God of the living, not the dead.”

So my wife had taped a PBS special with Gary Null, the nutritionist, and I watch some of that with her yesterday.  I have to admit, Gary is more than 10 years my senior, but in a caged death match he’s probably clubbing my prone body with a chair.  Obviously fit, a head full of hair, and a dynamo expounding with boundless enthusiasm about vitamins and minerals and juices and hot sex into your 90s and so on.  But as I am watching him go on about carnitine and polyphenols and celery juice’s ability to chelate heavy metals, I’m wondering if Mr. Null has Christ?  Call me crazy, but I’d rather live 10 more years like Saint John Paul II wracked with Parkinson’s and have the friendship of Jesus Christ, than 30 more years of exuberant boundlessly energetic health only to face my Lord and be told “I never knew you…but your abs are to die for!  And so you did.  Get out of here, you nut – follow that guy with the pitchfork.”

C.S. Lewis said that either Christianity is the most important thing in the universe, or it is not important at all – there is no middle ground.  What is the answer for you?

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