Monday, December 05, 2011

Life and Death; Living and Dying; Immortality and Mortality

It's been a very interesting (for lack of a better word) last couple of weeks. It has been a time that keeps bringing to mind the fragility of life, the certainty of death and the question of "What happens next?"

Here's the rundown:

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, my dad's heart stopped. The pacemaker/defibrillator did its thing and brought him back around after zapping his heart with a jolt of energy. There were some pretty tense moments but the hospital checked everything out, made some adjustments to his meds and sent him on his way with some fears of why the heart stopped and some confidence that the defibrillator would do its thing if needed.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, the mother of one of my co-workers passed away.
On the following Sunday, a friend called with news that his girlfriend's dad had passed away on Thanksgiving Day and wanted to know if I could do the funeral (that was Friday).
Following Saturday, the dad of one of Aaron's classmates had a very bad heart attack. He has been kept unconscious by meds and lowering of his body temperature and they will start to warm him and revive him in the next few hours.
Also on Saturday, one of our high school students from church was in a bad auto accident. He was okay (other than bump and bruises), but his truck was totaled and there was a fatality in the other vehicle.

It seems as though there has been a lot of death and near death not too far from me in the past two weeks. The Bible says that life is like a vapor; here for a moment and then gone. We never want to think of it as being that uncertain. We make our plans as if we have forever ahead of us and live without any urgency to share our faith, our time, or our love with the people that we encounter daily. We hold our grudges and withhold our forgiveness and never think about carrying those grudges into eternity or having the person pass away before we take the time to say we're sorry or express our forgiveness to them.

I really don't know about two of the three people that have died in the past days. The family of one of them told me that their dad had made a profession of faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. I know that there are some of my readers that don't believe in life after death. There are others that may believe in life after death but have done nothing to prepare for it. Not wanting to think about death won't keep it from happening. Life has a 100% fatality rate. Death is no respecter of age, wealth or social status. It overcomes all ages, all races, all cultures, all beliefs, all peoples--we all die.

I would encourage each of my readers to consider:
What happens next?
Is there an afterlife?
Is there a heaven?
Is there a hell?
How do I prepare for for this afterlife?

And whether or not you believe in an afterlife:
What has been left unsaid that needs to be said?
What has been unforgiven that needs to be forgiven?
What kindness needs to be done?
What encouragement needs to be shared?
What smile needs to shown?
and How many 'I love yous' need to be told to the people that we love?

If yesterday would have been your last day to live, would you be able to say that you ended life well? Would the people that you love know that they are loved? Would you have been ready to face God and stand in His Judgment?

Yesterday is history.
How will you end today?

"I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." --Jesus (Jn 14:6)

John <><

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Yes, it seems that I have been reminded of death very frequently this year too. Just this morning, my uncle passed away. I am happy that I went to visit in on Sunday.

The thing that I wonder about is that even if I reminded myself every day that it could be my last, I still wouldn't be able to accept not being able to be with my babies. Even if there is a heaven, I can't imagine how that can make it ok not to be able to be with them.