If we were to summarize the last lecture of Randy Pausch in a phrase it could be, Keep awake.
Pausch delivered his final lecture in September 2007, after he had been diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He showed a love of life and an approach to death that many people have found inspiring, and his lecture has turned into a phenomenon, viewed by millions on television and on the Internet. He went on to write a best-selling book entitled The Last Lecture, a book about love, courage and saying goodbye.
On Friday, July 25, 2008, Pausch succumbed to cancer at the age of 47.
Keep awake. That's what Randy Pausch says to us, and what Jesus says as well.
We face the same challenge as we enter the season of Advent, and begin our march through the wild weeks of decorating, shopping, partying and concerts that lie ahead. Jesus is going to be coming to us soon maybe, not in an earth-shaking second coming, but in a personal arrival that's every bit as important to each one of us. He'll be coming to speak to us in words of Scripture that have eternal power. "Heaven and earth will pass away," says Jesus, "but my words will not pass away." He'll be coming to gather his people into a community that knows his everlasting salvation, a community stretching "from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven." He'll be coming to see if we are alert and ready for his arrival, living in a way that is focused on his will and his way.
The challenge for us is to "keep awake," awake for the coming of the Lord during this Advent season.