Recently, Pastor Mark Driscoll preached on the calling of the twelve apostles in Luke 6. In one of the key sections of that sermon, he encourages Christians to: "Die with your boots on" The gist of this is:
You're either going to go out like Judas or Jesus—that's how your life is going to end. You're going to go out like Jesus, faithful to the end, whatever the cost, or you're going to go out like Judas, prematurely, tragically, rebelliously, shamefully. I want you to keep your boots on, finish strong, run your race, see it through to the end, be a completer, a finisher, a closer of the things God has given you to do.
He goes on to describe how both tradition and history describe the deaths of nine of the apostles. The full text is available here.
I say this now because it is fitting on a couple of levels. A good friend of mine from college, Craig Simmons and his wife Kristin were in South Korea teaching ESL and living out the great commission. On June 9, Craig was walking home and was hit by a bus. The next week was filled with an outpouring of love, prayer and faithful facebook updates, keeping everyone in the loop. Despite apparent improvement in his condition, this past Tuesday (June 16) Craig Simmons died with his boots on. The reason that the Driscoll sermon is so fitting is that Craig introduced me to Driscoll's ministryback in my first year of Bible College. I owe a lot of owe a lot of who I am to the Spirit's work through Craig.
I miss my friend, and I grieve with his wife and with the friends and family who miss him more than I ever could, but I can't help but be reminded of Philippians 1:21. I know this too, not every man is blessed enough to die with their boots on, and one day, I will see my friend again, I can only pray that I get there with a set of boots too.
Well done buddy
See you soon.