“Since I Have My Life Before Me”
By Brooke Bronkowski
I’ll live my life to the fullest. I’ll be happy. I’ll brighten up. I will be more joyful than I have ever been. I will be kind to others. I will loosen up. I will tell others about Christ. I will go on adventures and change the world. I will be bold and not change who I really am. I will have no troubles but instead help others with their troubles.
You see, I’ll be one of those people who live to be history makers at a young age. Oh, I’ll have moments, good and bad, but I’ll wipe away the bad and only remember the good. In fact that’s all I remember, just good moments, nothing in between, just living my life to the fullest. I’ll be one of those people who go somewhere with a mission, an awesome plan, a world-changing plan, and nothing will hold me back. I’ll set an example for others, I will pray for direction.
I have my life before me. I will give others the joy I have and God will give me more joy. I will do everything God tells me to do. I will follow the footsteps of God. I will do my best!!!
Excerpt from Crazy Love by Francis Chan –
During her freshman year in high school, Brooke was in a car accident while driving to the movies. Her life on earth ended when she was just fourteen, but her impact didn’t. Nearly fifteen hundred people attended Brooke’s memorial service. People from her public high school read poems she had written about her love for God. Everyone spoke of her example and her joy.
I shared the gospel and invited those who wanted to know Jesus to come up and give their lives to Him. There must have been at least two hundred students on their knees at the front of the church praying for salvation. Ushers gave a Bible to each one of them. They were Bibles that Brooke had kept in her garage, hoping to give out to all of her unsaved friends. In one day, Brooke led more people to the Lord than most ever will.
In her brief fourteen years on earth, Brooke was faithful to Christ. Her life was not wasted. The words from her essay seem prophetic: “You see, I’ll be one of those people who live to be history makers at a young age.”
We’ve all been shocked to hear about or watch someone we know pass on from this life. Even as you read this, faces and names are probably coming to mind. It’s good to think about those people in your life, and also to think about death. As the author of Ecclesiastes wrote, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (7:2). Stories of people who died after living godly lives are stories with happy endings.
Sadly, many people die while living selfishly. Their funerals are filled by individuals who stretch the truth in order to create a semblance of a meaningful life. Nobody would dare say an unkind word at the funeral; there is an unspoken obligation to come up with something nice to say about the person who died. But sometimes we secretly think the same thing: He really wast’t that great of a person.
The truth is, some people waste their lives. This isn’t meant to bash those who are gone, but rather to warn those who are alive.
I can pretty much guarantee you that your funeral will be nice.
They all are. The fact is at that point, you won’t care. A. W. Tozer once said, “A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God. This is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.”
When we face the holy God, “nice” isn’t what we will be concerned with, and if definitely isn’t what He will be thinking about. Any compliments you received on the earth will be gone; all that will be left for you is truth. The church in Sardis had a great reputation, but it didn’t matter. Jesus said to them, “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Rev. 3:1). All that matters is the reality of who we are before God.
“His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.”
–1 Corinthians 3:13-15
Perhaps that sounds harsh, but harsh words and the loving truth often go hand in hand.
I think it’s easy to hear a story like Brooke’s and just move on, without acknowledging that it could just as easily be you or me or my wife or your brother whose life ends suddenly. You could be the next person in your family to die. I could be the next person at my church to die. We have to realize it. We have to believe it enough that it changes how we live.
A friend of mine has a particularly wise perspective on this subject. He was asked if he weren’t spending too much of his time serving and giving too much away. His gentle but honest response was, “I wonder if you’ll say that after we’re dead.”
Friends, we need to stop living selfish lives, forgetful of our God. Our lives here are short, often unexpectedly so, and we can all stand to be reminded of it from time to time. That’s why I wrote this chapter, to help us remember that in the movie of life, nothing matters except our King and God.