The climb back to camp felt hot and pointless. Then a young man suddenly joined our team of tired hikers.
“What grade are you in?” I asked.
“The eighth grade,” he said.
“What will you do after that,” I asked.
“I’ll go to high school,” he said.
“What will you do after that,” I asked again.
“I’ll go to college,” he said.
Our conversation continued a while, me asking the same question, and him answering with his life plans.
“What will you do after that?” I asked.
“I will die,” he said.
“What will you do after that?” I asked a final time.
“I don’t know,” he said after a long pause.
“Oh, that is a very important question!” I said. “David, come and tell our friend what happens after we die.”
David shared the good news of Jesus with the young man, then asked if he believed.
“Yes, I believe,” he replied.
“Then why aren’t you bearing fruit in keeping with repentance?” David shouted. “Help these people as they journey along the path.”
The student immediately reached for my pack and carried it a long way with new life in his step.
O LORD, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am!