“The Phantom slowly, gravely, silently, approached. When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which this Spirit moved it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery. It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand. It thrilled Scrooge with a vague uncertain horror, to know that behind the mask there were eyes staring at him.”
In the story of Scrooge and his transformation, we come to the end of his dream, where he is me by the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Be. It is what we will all face at one point or another in our lives – that moment when death grips us with its infallible strength. Any choice or hope of clinging to the life we once had is now gone.
We always seem to imagine the end of life as being filled with darkness – the Grim Reaper reaching out to carry us to the grave and the end. Scrooge is reminded through his journey of the fragility of life as he witnesses the illness which is overtaking Tiny Tim. He looks death in the eye as he’s pointed to his own gravestone. They say that there are only two things in life that are for sure – death and taxes. It’s the end of our being – so we’ve been told. The world would like us to believe that there is no more, once you die, but we are assured that life goes on even beyond death. Some will reach paradise while others will spend eternity in hell.
This is the time where we see the effect of Scrooge’s dream. In his former state, he was nothing but a miserly, crabby, unhappy and dying man, but he’s been given a second chance. It’s not his time to die. Like us, when we feel our lives are over, you can bet that God still has stuff for us to do. We can’t determine our own demise. We can’t decide where we will be in ten years.
What would you do, if you were given an extension on your life, just at the moment you thought that it would soon end? Would you rejoice, as Scrooge did, at the news that he was still alive? Would you try to amend your old ways and redeem yourself? Would you spend all your fortune on helping the poor or doing good for others, or would you squander every last cent on your own pleasure? Scrooge managed to do all of that, because he had the opportunity to meet death at his grave site.
As we prepare for the coming of Jesus, who paid the price of our redemption completely, let’s stop and take a breath. Remember what a great gift salvation is for us. Share that blessed gift with others – don’t hoard it for yourself and those you love. The world needs to know that God loves them more than they can imagine.
Today our environment is going through many changes – not simply the climate of the earth, but the climate of our being. God is in control of the weather. He knows why storms occur and fires blaze. He breathes and the elements obey. He is also in control of our lives. When we are connected to Him, the storms will not seem as difficult. The trials can be faced with confidence. The fires of hatred and division will be snuffed out with His finger. This is the perfect time to make a difference.
“Then I saw the sinful buried, who used to go in and out of the holy place. They are soon forgotten in the city where they did this. This also is for nothing. Because a sinful act is not punished in a hurry, so the hearts of the sons of men are given completely over to sin. Even though a sinner does sinful things a hundred times and lives a long time, still I know that it will be well for those who fear God, and let others know they fear God. ECCLESIASTES 8:10-12