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Getting ready for the journey
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Last Saturday, I did some pretty significant yard work at my home. One of the “tools” that I used throughout the day was my wheelbarrow. I moved rocks and dirt and also transplanted some bushes and flowers to other places in the yard.
On Sunday, I was stiff and sore. I joked to a friend, “I think wheelbarrow loads are bigger and heavier than they used to be.”  
He knew exactly what I meant. The fact is that my wheelbarrow is no larger than my old one, and the loads are not larger or heavier. I am older. I simply cannot lift and pull and carry what I used to be able to do with little effort.  
Now, if the commercials are to be believed, I can make a quick phone call and order pills that will restore me to my earlier age. I can be as strong and resilient as I was when I was 25 years old. And it’s not all that expensive. Why not do it?
Two things stand out in those commercials to me. One is the long list of “side effects” mentioned in fast forward near the end. Cancer, heart disease, death and worse may accompany the use of those pills. The second thing that captures my attention is when they say, “Product is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.” Well, if not, then why would I take it?  
Here’s why this matters to me: I must accept the simple fact that I am getting older. I have a handful of aches and pains that I escaped previously. I forget a few things from time to time.
But there are some advantages to getting older. A soft drink costs me 59 cents at the local fast-food place. I don’t have to impress anybody anymore. I’m a little bit wiser today than I was. And, better than all the rest, I’m closer to home than I’ve ever been.
There was a time in my life when I did not think much of heaven. I believed in it and even preached about it. But I think of it much more today. I’m closer to heaven than I am to my childhood. And I have made the preparations needed for the journey.  
Paul wrote, “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” I am not yet absent from the body. But the day will come, sooner than I think. And I must be ready. The same is true for you. Have you made the preparations needed? I encourage you to put your trust in the one who gave his life for you. He is the one who prepares us for the ultimate journey to come.  
We need to follow him.

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