Learning Life Lessons From An 18 Year Old   Leave a comment

The following is a sermon given by an 18 year old, Clayton Stanton McDonald, in Simi Valley, CA:

This is almost 8 weeks ago… results come back. Fourth time the doctors have had to tell my parents, “Your son has leukemia, again.”…

The oncologist comes in and, basically for a five minute talk, he says, “There’s nothing that we can do for you. We can give you chemotherapy, we can give you some treatment, but inevitably it will not work.” No third bone marrow. No more chemotherapy. There’s no pill, there’s no nothing. So, I asked him, “With nothing, how long do you give me?” Well, first, he says… “It’s your own individual blood. Everyone’s blood is different. It reacts differently.” There’s no hammer-on-the-nail time. It’s really hard; it can vary. But, I did get this out of him. This was almost two months ago. He said, “Maybe three months, plus or minus.” That was two months ago, and I’m still here.

Me being here tonight is no accident. I’m dying of a disease. No, no I’m not. I’m dying from a blessing that was given to me by God. People ask me a lot of questions… one of the questions I get asked a lot is, “Hey Clayton, are you scared?” And usually I just say, “No, I’m not scared.” Because I don’t really feel like talking right then or explaining myself. But inside, yes, I am. I am terrified. I am mortified. But not for myself. Not for cancer. I’ve been on this train for twelve years. This is my fourth time. I know what’s going to happen. I know the feelings. I know all the needles; I know all the pains that’s gonna come with it. I know that. I’m not scared of that. I’m not scared of dying either, because I know where I’m going when I die. I know I’m going to heaven because when I was… younger, I confessed with my mouth and believed in my heart that Jesus is Lord and that He is the only way into heaven. And I believed that. And I know that. And I was able to do that because God sent his only Son to earth to die on the cross for my sins and your sins. Because He loves us so much. That is why I was able, and I know, that I’m going to heaven. So I’m not scared for where I’m going when I die.

I’m scared for everyone else. I’m scared for all the people who don’t know where they’re going when they die. I’m scared for the people that might think they know where they’re going when they die. I’m scared for all the people who are distracted by this world that is controlled by Satan. Especially for you guys because you’re in America–and this is Satan’s country. I’m scared for everyone that’s distracted by friends, by iPods, by video games, by movies, by having a roof over your heard, by feeling secure or by feeling comfort or by having $20 in your pocket.

See, I’m dying so it’s not hard for me to live every day like it’s going to be my last because tonight, I easily can go into a coma and never wake up from it. It’s not hard for me to be thankful for life when I know that tomorrow I might not have it. And it’s not hard for me to be thankful for my friends because I know that I might not ever see them again, very soon.

Yes, I’m dying. But, wait, here’s the kicker–so are you guys. We all have a clock, have a timeline, of when we’re gonna kick the bucket. And for me, I have the luxury of knowing about when I might go. See, I feel sorry for you guys because you guys don’t know when you’re gonna die. I do. So, everyone that is blinded by this world and is not living every day like it is their last, which it very well could be, I feel sorry for you guys. So, those are the people that I’m afraid of. The people that are blinded, the people that don’t know where they’re going when they die, and the people who think they know where they’re going when they die–but they really don’t.

Clayton died a few weeks after giving this message. He died 40 days short of his 19th birthday. And, through the tears, I know that his parents and his friends are rejoicing because they know where he is. They know that Clayton lived his life storing up treasures, not in this world, but in the eternal heaven where he is at now.

Here is a video for Clayton’s memorial service:

Everything in this world is a distraction. Everything in this world is like grass that will burn away. Don’t waste your life living for the thirty, forty or fifty years you have left in this world. Heck, this is a message to me, mostly, that I not get distracted by what’s in front of my eyes, thinking that is it. The thirty, forty, fifty… that’s just a shadow of our entire lives. Because we will all be around forever. The Bible promises that. However, for those who have been distracted by this world and tempted by this world to live solely for this world, that eternity is going to be in the presence of God’s judgment and wrath. And, for those of you who have not placed your faith in Jesus Christ, I don’t say this lightheartedly or flippantly. In all seriously and in all brokenness… you’re going to hell–and it’s worse than you can imagine. But, there is a promise for those who turn from their sins and turn to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. It is an eternity in heaven with God, and fellowship with God will be greater than you can imagine. Our minds and our imaginations cannot fully grasp what eternity will be like. It can be the most awful and tragic thing, but it can be the most precious and amazing thing for those who believe in Christ. As Clayton says… we’re all dying. Life life as if you were dying. Because… well… we are.

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Posted September 22, 2009 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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