Manuel Encinas

“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”

James 4:13-14

I had a good friend in school who had just started to attend. He was in the seventh grade, and I was in the eighth grade. He was smart and did well in school, and I, well, was not and did not. He was different than me, but that’s one of the reasons I liked him. He was habitually late to school, and he always had a simile on his face. He loved ASU and we seemed to bond from the beginning of that school year.

On Monday, February 26, 1990, my friend was late to school, but much later than he usually was. By lunchtime, I figured he probably was home sick or just getting the most out of the weekend. I looked for his younger sister and she not at school either. I though nothing of it until after lunch when our principal walked into our classroom with his eyes red and puffy. He stood there for a second as he struggled to find his voice. When his words finally came, they hung in the air as he told us Manuel and his mom has been killed in a car accident on the way to school. A collective gasp filled the room and tears began to run down my cheeks. I could not believe what I was just told and my heart was broken with grief. I tried to be a “man” the rest of the day, but I was struggling inside.

My friend was only 13 years old when he went to be with the Lord, and his age was quite close to mine. He was full of life and had dreams and aspirations of things he wanted to do. He was buried that Friday and grief seemed to engulf the school. My grief did not end there as my grandma Mendez passed away the following Friday. I remember my grandma feeling bad for me when my friend died, but she did not know that death was right around the corner for her. I must say that was a tough time in my life but I am grateful I will see them both again.

I learned a lot through those two deaths in which one was just starting to live his life and the other was at the end of her life. I learned that death comes for all and no matter how long you live, it always seems the time is short. Many have made plans for tomorrow only to not see them come to fruition. It matters how we live our life as one day we are here and the next we are gone.

How are you living your life today? Are you ready to meet God if you were to see Him today? Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you have plans outside of God? For what or whom are you living today? Every day of life is a gift from God and every moment is precious. May we live for God as time is short and may our plans include Him always. C. T. Studd penned the following words, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past,

Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

C. T. Studd

Stay in the Fight!

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