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The Only Certainty In Life

Joseph Bayly, delightful personal friend now in heaven, was flying from Chicago to the city of Los Angeles. He engaged the woman sitting next to him in conversation. She was a little over 40, well dressed, and quite articulate. He asked, “Where are you from?”

She said, “From Palm Springs.”

Knowing Palm Springs to be a city of the rich and famous, he asked, “What's Palm Springs like?”

Being perceptive, she answered, “Palm Springs is a beautiful place filled with unhappy people.”

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Taking advantage of the occasion, he pressed the question, “Are you unhappy?”

She said, “Yes, I certainly am.”

“Why?” he asked.

She said, “I can answer it in one word, and that word is mortality. Until I was 40, I had perfect eyesight. Shortly after, I went to the doctor because I couldn't see as well as I could before. Ever since that time, these corrective glasses have been a sign to me that not only are my eyes wearing out, but I'm wearing out. Some day I'm going to die. I really haven't been happy since that time.”

Ladies and gentlemen, these words summarize the feelings of millions of Americans today. We don't want to lose what we have or be reminded that death is coming to us as it is for everyone else in the human race. As someone has said, “The only certainty in life is death.”

— Howard Hendricks, “Memorial Service for Bea Campbell,” Preaching Today, Tape No. 133.