Tick Tock

I woke up Wednesday morning around 7.  While deciding whether or not to sleep in, this thought crashed into my head–this could be my last day to live. I could die today.

I am not normally that morose–not even on Mondays.

But wasn’t not really pessimism. It’s truth–thought-stopping, finger-twitching, life-changing truth. I am going to die. And nothing I do will stop it.

Our world is consumed with avoiding death.  And as age is the ever-telling symptom of naering death, people run from age like the bubonic plague.

As if you can exterminate wrinkles or eradicate arthritis.

Running from death, our society fills every moment with distractions–Facebook, Twitter, newsfeeds, texting, schedules, sports, school, parties, games, grocery stores, movies–even the daily necessities of clothing, food, cleaning, and yes, even blogging.  The daily routine becomes our life purpose.  The schedule becomes our lifeline.  For those of us who dislike schedule and regularity, we drift like a weathered piece of shattered driftwood searching for the nearest shore but happy to leave it when the tide changes again.

And with every appointment, every change in tide, every moment passed, I am one second closer to death.  You are one second closer to death.

No one likes to discuss death.  Yet it waits for everyone.  College students.  Plumbers.  8th graders. Cosmeticians.  Bankers.  Clergy.  Teachers.  Nurses.  Computer technicians.  Construction workers.  And writers.

Last November, I stood in a crowded funeral home, waiting in line to walk by the casket of my 25 year-old friend who passed away on her wedding day.  Death is not a kind friend.

But death is coming.

Please don’t leave this blog yet.  We have to face this truth–this ugly, shadowy truth that remains hidden by a cloud our rationality can never fully penetrate.

Our fragile mortality frightens us.  What’s next?  What does it mean–this sunrise and sunset–this body of bones and blood vessels?  While trying to find words to express an answer, I must admit my mind is little better than an empty cabinet.  I cannot say I have it figured out.  But this I do know:  “For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I committed unto Him.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

You see, I’ve thought about death before.  And it bothered me.  And what would come after frightened me too–especially when the Bible speaks of eternal punishment for sin and I knew I had sinned.  But I need not fear anymore.  Because Jesus has said in the Bible, “I am come that they might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)  He also said through the apostle Paul: “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

I accepted that gift of eternal life from Jesus.  He procured it by coming to earth and dying on the Cross and rising again.  Jesus said Himself that He came as a ransom.  We don’t talk about “ransoms” much anymore–it means to buy back.  Christ was buying me back.  I was in a world of fear and darkness and pain, but He saved me.

Now, my life isn’t perfect.  If you’ve read this blog long, you’ll know I have my share of darkness.  And yes, one day I will still die.  But I don’t have to shrink from the sight of it.  I don’t have to worry about what awaits me–about whether its karma, hell, or dirt.  God has given the answers–He faced death and defeated it.  And knowing the truth about death allows me to focus on how I will live my life.

I’m not trying to be “I know everything”/didactic/snobby.  I can only share what I am learning in the hope that it helps you.

“O death, where is thy sting?  O grave, where is thy victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the sting of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God Who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ.”–I Corinthians 15:55-57

Thanks for reading,

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