Don Knotts played Barney Fife, deputy on The Andy Griffith
Show. I was greatly saddened, hearing the news that
a man who made me laugh as a child and an adult, had died.
Some of my fondest memories with family and friends are
watching Barney, laughing while he does something funny.
Don Knotts did such a great job playing his character, it
seems like Barney was a real person that Barney died when
Don Knotts died.
Best of all, watching The Andy Griffith Show was
good, clean humor. Unfortunately, this was not always true
with other shows Don Knott's played on; sometimes we had
to turn them off because of inappropriate attire or humor.
Life is Short
Events like these remind me of my mortality. Pictures of
Don Knotts, old and feeble, looking much different from
the young man who played Barney Fife, remind me that life
is short, even if we live a long time (in human terms).
James says, "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow
we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there
and engage in business and make a profit.' Yet you do not
know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just
a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes
away. Instead, you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills. . .
.'" (Jas. 4:13-15).
Only One Thing is Important
Thinking about the brevity of life, I'm reminded that only
one thing is important. Don Knotts was famous, and possessed
social status that few people attain. He probably had a
lot of money, luxurious possessions, and enjoyed the finer
things of life. But now, none of that matters. All that
matter is his relationship with God.
Jesus says, "For whoever wishes to save his life will
lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find
it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole
world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in
exchange for his soul" (Matt. 16:25-26)?
And Solomon tells us, "The conclusion, when all has been
heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this
applies to every person. For God will bring every act to
judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good
or evil" (Ex. 12:13-14).
Eternity is Right Around the Corner
We could stand before the Lord in judgment any moment. We
could die unexpectedly, or Jesus could come again, taking
vengeance on people who are not obeying the gospel, and
taking the saved home to heaven (2 Th. 1:6-10; 1 Th. 4:13-18).
Before we know it, we'll stand before the judgment seat
of Christ, to be recompensed for our deeds, according to
what we have done, whether good or bad (2 Cor. 5:10). Since
our names are written in the book of life, we won't be thrown
into the lake of fire, but enter into our heavenly abode,
to live with our Lord for eternity (Rev. 20:11ff).
Before long, we'll be in eternity. We'll look back at
this life, truly understanding the folly of life without
Make sure when you look back, you're happy you made the