This is your life

This centres on a deck of cards which show what you should have achieved or should be doing at a particular age, according to the current values of our society. This is a normal life.

The cards are as follows [showing age and achievement]:

1: first steps

2: first nursery school
first haircut

3: proper underwear
first computer game

4: go to school
learn to read

5: buy first pop record

6: begin collection of Action Man or Barbie dolls
learn Playstation

7: first high heels
or branded trainers

8: first eating disorder

9: first cigarette

10: drunk for first time

11: secondary school
first 18 certificate film

12: first boyfriend/girlfriend

13: first joint

14: lose virginity

16: GCSEs
first rave
first e

17: learn to drive

18: go to university
or first proper job

21: graduate from university
or second proper job

22: backpacking
Thailand, Goa

23: first attempt to give up smoking

24: make first million in City
achieve celebrity

25: height of club career
first child [oops!]

28: first marriage
[to person of similar age]

30: mortgage
locked into career path
working long hours

35: second child
[end of clubbing]

40: heavy workload
rush home to see children before childminder puts them to bed

42: crisis
have affair
abandon job, spouse

45: second marriage
[to younger person]
sports car

50: first facelift
first grandchild
Viagra, HRT

55: company director
first Jaguar
second home in Tuscany

57: health problems
forced to give up smoking and lose weight

60: retirement or redundancy
free bus pass

61: revert to youthful self
[including fashions]

63: start reading Saga magazine
[without giving up Cosmo]

65: cruise round Carribean
serious suntan

70: first hip replacement
second divorce

75: move to sheltered housing close to shops

80: first motorised wheelchair
third marriage
[to 25 year old]

85: put in old people's home by family after fall

90: big family party
[can't remember who half of them are]

95: sit in front of TV
living 70 years ago in your head

100: telegram from monarch
[someone you've never heard of]

Look at the cards and assess how you're measuring up.
Are you on track for achieving a fulfilling life?
Discuss whether you think these goals are worth aiming for.
Do you have different aims or values?
How does it change things if you're going to come back?

Whether or nor you believe in resurrection makes a huge difference to how you live your life. You see, if this is the only life there is enormous pressure to have done everything. For many people there is a sense of panic, that if they haven't done such and such by a particular age then it is too late - there will be no second chance. You'll have noticed, of course, the mid-life crisis in the cards, the recurrent attempts at recapturing youth. But if you're coming back for ever do you need to grasp at youth?

The impact of resurrection on our lives is this:
it means we don't have to grasp at self-fulfilment here and now;
we don't have to worry that it's too late for this or that;
since we don't need to worry about having everything now, we can be free to do other things for God.

Your obituary, in the light of the resurrection, is a preliminary assessment.
It gives some indication as to whether it's worth letting you come back.