Two years ago I lost a dear friend very suddenly. During her abbreviated life, my friend was a shining example of how everyone should live. She threw fancy dinner parties with the "good china" in the middle of the week for the most exclusive of guests - her husband and daughter.
She wore her pearls because it was Tuesday, because every day deserves dressing up or simply because she knew pearls did far more good on your neck than in a drawer. She took time to hold babies, time to admire her daughter and time to tell her husband how wonderful she thought he was. If she had known in advance when her last day would be, I suspect she would not have changed one thing in her life or schedule.
This morning I read the final Chapter of Acts, 28. Paul has journeyed over 13,000 miles mostly by foot but sometimes by ship over a span of about twenty years. He traveled so far that had he moved in a straight line, he could have made it halfway around the globe.
As Acts 28 opens, Paul and his companions have been shipwreck on Malta where the residents treat them with a great deal of kindness. After spending three months there, the journey to Rome commences once more. This time the travel is uneventful.
Finally, Paul arrives in Rome and is greeted by Christians from all over the area surrounding Rome. As Acts draws to a close, Luke reports that Paul "boldly and without hindrance...preached the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ." How fitting that Paul's biography ends with him doing exactly what God called him to do. Paul may have been theoretically imprisoned but no amount of house arrest would prevent Paul from seeing beyond the bars to God's grand purpose for his life.
Whatever day my biography ends, I hope this is precisely how my last page reads. My prayer is that someday my friends and family gather at a funeral and say, "She wouldn't have changed a thing."