Robert Russell in his sermon Resurrection Promises, told this story about professional golfer, Paul Azinger. “[Paul] was diagnosed with cancer at age 33. He had just won a PGA championship and had ten tournament victories to his credit. He wrote, ‘A genuine feeling of fear came over me. I could die from cancer. Then another reality hit me even harder. I’m going to die eventually anyway, whether from cancer or something else. It’s just a question of when. Everything I had accomplished in golf became meaningless to me. All I wanted to do was live.”
Then he remembered something that Larry Moody, who teaches a Bible study on the tour, had said to him. ‘Zinger, we’re not in the land of the living going to the land of the dying. We’re in the land of the dying trying to get to the land of the living.’
Golfer Paul Azinger recovered from chemotherapy and returned to the PGA tour. He’s done pretty well. But that bout with cancer deepened his perspective. He wrote, “I’ve made a lot of money since I’ve been on the tour, and I’ve won a lot of tournaments, but that happiness is always temporary. The only way you will ever have true contentment is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not saying that nothing ever bothers me and I don’t have problems, but I feel like I’ve found the answer to the six-foot hole.”
Paul passage here (Col. 3:3) is about the crucified life. The Greek sentence begins with the word, apethanete: Died. It is placed at the start of the sentence for emphasis. Our life is truly not our own. We have died with Christ that we might share in His resurrection.
As missionary James Calvert approached the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship tried to discourage him from setting ashore on a cannibal island. “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages,” he said. Calvert only replied, “We died before we came here.” He understood Colossians 3:3 well.
So… what kind of life is that… living as though one has already died? Well… it is one that is hidden with Christ in God! To the world which views us only from the outside it looks like a denial of fun and desire. The believer who is truly abiding in Christ knows differently. The true life is inside us. That is why in this land of the dying… our hearts and our minds are set upon heaven.
Eternally your heart and mind is safe in the hands of Christ, whose hands are in the hands of God the Father (John 10:28-29). You are double covered. Go live as though you have nothing to lose. Nothing can touch the true life inside you. You have already died… and you have solved the answer to the Six Foot Hole.