Clayton Cramer gives a touching account of his father-in-law's death-bed conversion upon the realization that most of the things he held dear in life were wasted and worthless.
My father-in-law, like a lot of his generation, had never been a churchgoer. His pride prevented him from acknowledging that there was anything more important than himself. A couple of weeks before he died, my wife was visiting with him, and he said, "You know, I've never made fun of your religion, although I never had much need for it. But now I'm confronting the unknown, and I'm really scared." They prayed for a personal relationship with God--and a few days later, his stepson Brad did likewise with Richard.
By the time Richard died at age 74, he had lost everything in which he took pride: his independence; his athletic prowess; his illusion of being charge of his life. Only in the last few weeks, as everything was stripped away from Richard--his dignity, even the ability to get himself a drink of water--did he start to see that he was going to leave the world as he came into it, completely helpless, dependent on others.
There's a popular Christian song right now that talks about how some day, every knee shall bow before the Lord--but the greatest reward is for those who worship him now. Richard could have had a vastly more rewarding and satisfying life--but his pride got in the way. What a waste.
Jesus Christ's life and death were the ultimate expression of humility, and God promises that ironically, despite human pride, no one will ever be exalted above his Son.
5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Verse 6 is particularly stirring: it was originally, and still is, man's desire to be like God that creates the most treacherous stumbling block that hinders our relationship with our Creator.