Arsène Wenger leads Arsenal to a historical 49-match unbeaten run between 2003 and 2004 football season. They won the English Premier League without a single defeat! Their invincibility was unfairly cut short by a team I root for, Manchester United. After lousy refereeing, Wenger was infuriated, and during an interview, he made a remark that I somehow found amusing, “If I die, I am going to ask God where the referees are before choosing between heaven & hell.” Wenger was so immersed in football and even wrote in his autobiography “My Life in Red and White” that it seemed like a matter of life and death.
Tim Lewis, The Guardian reporter, caught up with Wenger last month and he appeared to have a change of heart. Lewis reports that Wenger often envisage what he will say to God when he dies, and in most of these conversations, he pictures God asking him to justify how he lived his life. “I tried to win football matches!” he replies, and God will follow up with a hard question, “That’s all?”
The Bigger Question.
Wenger then conveys his apprehensions to Tim Lewis. “Sometimes I feel I’m scared for having only done football in my life… It’s just that if God exists and they have a test to see if you go to hell or heaven, it might look ridiculous only to have dedicated your life to winning football games. it could feel meaningless that you dedicated your whole life to that.”
What would you tell God if he asked you that same question? Whitney Houston sang in her song My Love Is Your Love.
“If tomorrow is judgment day, and I’m standing on the front line. And the Lord asks me what I did with my life. I will say I spent it with you.”
The way we respond to such questions will determine how we live our lives. Psalm 90:12 shows us that thinking about the length of our lives will enable us to gain a heart of wisdom. Having in mind that one day we are all going to die makes us live differently.
Did you know that there is an app that was developed to remind people about death solely? The app sends five invitations at random times for one to stop and think about death. It (WeCroak app) was inspired by a Bhutanese proverb, “to be a happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.” I wouldn’t encourage you to download it because your Bible does a better job and in a way that is godly and helpful.
Good Reminders Of Death.
Moving away from that ungodly app. My point is that reminders of death offered by scripture make us live a sober and different life. The parable of the Rich Fool in Luke 12:19–21 is a good illustration. The rich Fool amassed a lot of wealth for himself and thought he had many years to relax, eat, drink, be merry. But God said to him, “Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared.”
We should all plead with God to daily remind us about the brevity of life, just like David did, “O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am” (Psalm 39:4).
We all want to accomplish great feats in life. But if that doesn’t involve God, it will all be vanity. Many young men think they have years to live before they can accept to follow Jesus Christ. If you have the same mindset, let me remind you that you are going to die! It might happen anytime, just like what happened to the Rich Fool, and after that, you will face God and be judged. This is not a threat but a reality. How you live now will determine if you get an everlasting life with God or everlasting contempt in hell (Daniel 12:2).