Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mist and darkness

Like most, I talk to many people every day, and sometimes someone tells me they will try to figure out the meaning of life or whether God exists when they're older. Or when they've accomplished this or that goal in life. In any case, the answer is they'll work on it "later."

Besides, they say, it takes too much time for them right now to investigate these sorts of questions. After all, these are big, thorny questions. But they have other more pressing things to do like get a job, get married, buy a house, etc.

However, we obviously don't know when we'll die. Death could come at any moment for any of us. But we do or should know that sooner or later death will come for every one of us. That much is certain.

As such, no one can be totally certain they'll have enough time to explore these questions let alone figure out the answers. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed to anyone.

So, on the one hand, the living should know they will die. But on the other hand, many among the living live as if death is the least of their worries, even though it could occur at any moment.

The prospect of death should have a way of focusing one's priorities. But these days it seems buried beneath other concerns. Perhaps buried beneath life itself. Maybe many are too busy living and enjoying life to think about death. Maybe they don't want to think about death.

In fact, it's a bit striking to me how forgetful many are about death. I've met reckless youth and adults who have barely escaped the jaws of death, and have been utterly shocked by it. Of course, it is shocking in a large sense. But at the same time, I wonder, couldn't they foresee how their reckless behavior would lead to their near life-ending predicament?

Similarly, I've met elderly people in very poor health who have been utterly shocked by a diagnosis of a particular disease. Again, it is shocking in a large sense. But at the same time, given their personal profile, I wonder, why didn't they realize this would come sooner or later? It's not as if we will all live forever in perfect health.

Hence, when death does come, as it inevitably will, many people are ill prepared. Perhaps this is part of why it's such a huge shock. They never bothered to prepare because they never bothered to think about the prospect of their demise. So when the prospect becomes imminent, they're caught off-guard.

But in another sense, our mortality is a mercy. Death reminds us of who we are. It reminds us how small and helpless we are. How short our lives are. How dependent we are on forces greater than ourselves. A zillion things could easily end us (e.g. see here).

In short, we're but mists that appear for a little while only to vanish with the morning sun. We are weak and fragile. Our time is short; death is certain. In light of this, I think it'd behoove us to consider the things of most importance now rather than later.


  1. To add to what Patrick has said, see here and here regarding whether people are actually as busy as they often claim to be. If they're so busy, you have to wonder how they find so much time for unnecessary housework, unnecessary yardwork, television, movies, sports, reading trivial and vulgar literature and web sites, etc.

    1. Jason, just a side note. I responded to your last response to me about the shroud and those posts were put into moderation. Why? Can you release them and then respond to me conclusion?

  2. Patrick,

    Out of genuine curiosity, do you have family members and close friends who are not genuine followers and disciples of Christ? I.e., do you have "unsaved" family members and close friends?

    If so, out of genuine curiosity again, have you shared the Gospel with them? If you have, did you get the response that you wrote of in your blogpost above?

    1. Hey TUAD,

      Yeah, I do have some friends and family in mind here. Although obviously it's not only for them.

    2. So do I. Your post reminds me of them. And their seeming indifference. Which, as God knows, pains me.