Dr. Calvin Metcalf
WHAT ARE WE DYING FOR?
When we reflect upon the cross of Jesus, we are impressed by the fact that He invites us to share death with Him. In following Him we expose ourselves to a cross-like life. His promise is that in losing our lives we will find our lives. Love has no greater expression than laying down one's life for another. The gospel is a cause worth dying for and many martyrs have made the ultimate sacrifice. The Christian life is a risk-taking adventure. We cannot escape its call to death even as it offers the highest quality of life. Because life is our most precious asset we cannot make a total commitment until it too has been offered. We can never overestimate the power of dying love.
There is a sense in which we are all dying for something. Some folk are dying for cigarettes. They are smoking themselves into the throes of lung cancer. There are those dying for excessive use of narcotics. They are drinking themselves toward alcoholism and cirrhosis. They are popping pills with fatal implications. Some people are dying for their careers. They are exhausting themselves into workaholics. They are losing the joy of their work in the addiction to work. We are beginning to see more and more people dying for food. Poor diets and gluttonous eating habits are creating serious health problems. There are any number of people dying for attention. They worry so much about being neglected it eats away at their nervous system. Yes, in one way or another we are all dying for something.
The big question which confronts us is this: Is what we are dying for, worth dying for? This is where the gospel comes to our rescue and offers us something bigger than ourselves to which we can be committed. Giving ourselves away to worthy causes is what the Christian life is all about. From the time we are born we begin the process of death. Hopefully on the journey we can find a life worth living through the things worth dying for. Some people are dying for no good reason. Other people are dying with a peace and a purpose from God.
The cross of our Lord becomes our model for both living and dying. The spirit of sacrifice is necessary for abundant living and peaceful dying. Our Lord taught us that unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it cannot produce life. Dying daily to ourselves we are resurrected in fulfillment. Giving ourselves away to that which is high and holy exposes us to that which is high and holy. May the Lord God of the cross give us a cross-bearing witness in a world which still crucifies innocence. Since we are all going to die at some time, let us make it worthwhile.
It is with deep sorrow that we report the passing of Dr. Calvin Metcalf. After coping with chronic coronary difficulties, he died on the morning of September 10, 2014. He was an exemplary person who blessed the lives of countless persons in numerous ways. In appreciation for his service to Carson Newman over the years, both as an alum and long-time trustee, and to honor his effectiveness as a minister, we will continue his devotionals for the remainder of this year.