death of a friend

Death came for a friend. Richard Moll died last week, “Bull” from Night Court fame, but you wouldn’t know he died. His passing is not getting as much press as Matthew Perry, from the TV series Friends, who also died. I’m not sure why Matthew’s death is more popular than Richard’s. Maybe Matthew’s show won more awards than Richard’s. Maybe Matthew was a star and Richard was only a supporting actor. I wonder if it’s more because Matthew was 54 and Richard was 80 and that hits closer to home.

To tell the truth, I was more of a Night Court fan than Friends. But that doesn’t take away from the fact, maybe it’s more shocking, that Matthew Perry dies at 54 and I’m only two years older. Everyone watched Friends in the 90’s and we were the same age as Matthew. Richard dies at 80, we expect him to die, he’s going to die, old people die. I knew a lady in the Black Hills who passed away, she was 86, and that’s just the way it is. But Matthew? 54? “Too young,” we say. And then do you realize, “That’s my age. I’m not too far off. Could I be next? When will my day come?”

It shouldn’t be a surprise, though. We know death is coming for everyone, but it’s coming for someone else today, not me – I’m busy, I got things to do, going here and there. A younger man doesn’t think about it so much, young people “will live forever” if you ask them. But as you get on, there’s more behind you than in front (in this world), and you start to think about it more. Any reasonable person would. Could today be the day? I might not come home from work, or get out of my jacuzzi.

What will you do with the time you have left, if any? What if today is your last day? Psalm 31:15, “My times are in Your hand.” Psalm 39:4-5, “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you.” Psalm 90:12, “Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” The wizard Gandalf said to the Hobbit Frodo, “All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.” We are like cornhusks. We are dust in the wind.

Matthew Perry’s sudden death is a wake-up call for you. Your time is short. Maybe you’ll live as long as Richard, or more like Matthew. Some people get even less time; you know this. What comes next? Where will you spend eternity? I can’t speak for Richard or Matthew, but I ask you today. Only through Christ will you live forever. Repent of your sin and turn to Him for forgiveness today. He is the best and truest friend you could ever have.