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A Bulletproof Faith – Rich Mullins’s Mortality Awareness

Central - Sanctuary - South 5-Lancet Stained Glass WindowKey Bible Verse: Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day.  – 2 Corinthians 4:16

Bonus Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Singer/songwriter Rich Mullins spoke and sang so much about death that some of us thought he had a morbid streak. I once asked, of all the songs he wrote, which was his favorite. Without hesitation he replied, “Elijah”—a song about his own death.

Rich understood death not as something to be feared but as something to be mindful of as we live.

He said, “Once you come to understand that life is unbelievably brief, and that we really can’t do anything that’s gonna change anything, that we don’t really amount to a hill of beans—then all of a sudden you go, ‘So it doesn’t really matter if I’m not that great. And if I don’t have to be great, that means I can fail. And if I can fail, that means I can try. And if I can try, that means I’m gonna have a good time.'”

Rich believed that death isn’t the end, but the beginning of life. In one of his songs he wrote, “Live like you’ll die tomorrow; die knowin’ you’ll live forever.”

He demonstrated how to live well by making the most of one’s time—living hard, laughing hard, and departing this world, as predicted [see Thought to Apply] in his favorite song.

—James Bryan Smith in HomeLife

My Response: How does being mindful of death “teach us to make the most of our time” (Psalm 90:121)?

Thought to Apply: But when I leave, I want to go out like Elijah, with a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire. —Rich Mullins (in “Elijah”)

Adapted from HomeLife (8/00)

Prayer for the Week:  Give me a heightened awareness of the next life, Lord, so that I may strike a truer balance in this one.



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