Friday, June 20, 2014

Death is just around the corner

I have been surrounded by the idea of death lately. My mind was led to this idea by crazy dreams, the books The Fault in Our Stars (John Green), Heaven is For Real (Todd Burpo) among others.


A word we do not talk about so much. It's not the word you hear in your everyday discourse. It poses a lot of questions like, is there life after death? What is it like when you are about to breathe your last breath? Will fear of it still be there?

Awesome conceptual photo grabbed here.

We spend all our life haunted by this reality.
We seldom talk about it, but we can never deny the influence of the idea of death on our lives. (could be a conscious or unconscious influence)
Some people spend a lot of money just to delay death.
From anti-aging creams to inflating hospital bills. They are the ones who would give everything just to take a sip from the fountain of youth.

Some people, those who do not have the luxury to spend much to delay death, regard life as an everyday test of survival.
They do not want their bodies to just waste away and succumb to the everyday taunting of death, so they do everything they can to get through every single day. These are the ones who would do everything, even to steal, or to do dirty work, just to keep their stomachs from being empty. That defines all their life. There's no time to reflect on the beauty of life, because all life offered them was grim reality. They don't have time to spare to reflect on what life is really all about. All they know is they need to keep themselves alive for the day.

Even though we know that we could never evade death, we try to run from it even though we know how the chase will end.
This journey of life, is, after all, our journey towards death.

We know that everything here is gonna end.
That's why some, who understand that they cannot delay death as much as they want to, focus more on making most of their lives.
They spend all of their time, their effort, their money just to improve the quality of their life.
This is not a bad principle, right?
But there is just a little problem about this.. Some people die while they are still "preparing" the life they wanted to enjoy! Some die even before they enjoy the fruits of their labor. Some die with their time used up busy for work, or for studying, or for anything else they did to prompt the way to a better life. ..and they die without spending time just appreciating life itself.

Some fear death, so they have this intricate plans and principles they live on, while some, with the very mindset that life on earth is temporary, don't bother to make plans or goals at all.
They are the ones who just live for the moment and doesn't care what they make out of their lives. It will end soon, and it will soon be forgotten like "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes." (James 4:14) why would they even bother to make it look pleasant? They would as well just do what they please. the moment.

Some people? Well, they die after they've watched their dreams unfold.
They see their kids grow in a nice home, get married and start a family as nice as theirs. They are the ones who sit in their balcony and let out a sigh and play with the thought that "life is good". They are the ones who understand life in a depth youngster would hardly grasp.

But is it all that there is to life?
Is life on earth solely about that little span of time between your birth and your death?
Is life all about what you make of yourself before you die?
Is the beauty some people, who know how to look beyond the superficial stuff about life, marvel at, encompass life here on earth?
Is there more to life than what anyone on earth knows about it?
Or, is it that, like what Hazel Grace Lancaster said, maybe there's no point?

You know what, in my perspective, there's more to life than what we, on earth, can comprehend.

Everyday, we beat our bodies to do things we think we need to do, we do our best to endure the difficulty of life here on earth. And then someone will say that it's all for nothing?

That's just ridiculous!

We have to admit it. Our life will soon be forgotten by the world. Quoting John Green in The Fault in Our Stars,
“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. 

..but there has to be something more to life.

It is when I think about death that I realize the weight and the grandeur of what Paul said to the Philippians:
"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:21

Life is living by the example of Christ who was not afraid of death, and who, through the most beautiful sacrifice done for humankind, the death on the cross, has freed us from the bondage of sin and of death. In Him, death has lost its sting. If we live by this, we would look at death and only see the door that leads to paradise, endless days of being with Jesus.
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
“Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?” 
1 Corinthians 15:54-55
Our lives can only have an eternal worth if we live by its sole purpose - to worship God. 
We live to bring glory to the very Creator who breathed life into our nostrils.

How does the idea of death, of everything being ephemeral, influence your life? What type of death-dealer are you?

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