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Just so much time

Posted by markdohle , 18 April 2007 · 40 views

I wonder what life would be like, if that fact that death, which could and does happen at any time, be taken out of the picture.  If human life was not short, if we had an unlimited amount of years to live out our hopes and dreams; what if that were true?  To me the question is like thinking about winning the lottery.  I for one would not want to.  To suddenly have all the money I need, or could ever spend, does not sound very promising.  With all that money I could never ever look forward to anything, since on a whim I could do whatever I wanted, go where I wanted……buy a jet plane and fly to Hawaii, stay at the best places, etc.   Money I did not earn, in unlimited supply, does not sound live giving at all.  

Death defines us.  We have just so much time, and then it is over, no second chances, one life, and one exit.  This adds urgency to life, perhaps not always felt, but on some level it is there. Screaming at some, whispering to others, some barely hear it.  Yet it is there.  When looking into a mirror it is shown to us every day.  The soul seems to stay young, yet the jarring image in the mirror does not correspond.  Tick tock, tick tock, so the clock goes, seconds go by and soon become years, decades, until it happens.  For some, quick, unexpected, something I personally do not want.  Other die more slowly, knowing what is coming, this is what I want.  Unlimited time would most likely flatten everything, since the future would stretch out into the far, far, future.  Urgency would be gone, it would be like having too much money, nothing to strive for, work for, and anticipate.  

I have been with many people who have died.  In my line of work it is always the old, the tired, those who perhaps are prepared, waiting for the call.  When with them, in their final days and hours, I sense a time of just hanging over, or simply being suspended in a very large void, waiting, being changed, the waiting painful, sort of like waiting for a plane that is slow in coming, the waiting has it own kind of suffering.  I sit with them; ponder how they view their lives.  Did it seem like a dream, or was it something long and drawn out.  In any case most deaths that I have witnessed are peaceful, there are only a very few exceptions, and even those the struggle did not last long.

So life is beautiful, important, filled with color. Vibrant, because of the knowledge, hidden or not, that we have a very short time in which to do what we need to do, before the final curtain call and we step through the dark door.  Death is terrible, horrible; it takes away our loved ones.  In the end it will take me away also, for the dead also lose out on those that they love.  It is a two edged sword; so life should be embraced, lived, with the knowledge that we are truly like the flowers of the field.  Young for a short time, we age, grow hopefully, become loving human beings, and when death comes we leave something behind that is beautiful.

What happens after death?  Well I have my faith, yet it is still a mystery.  I can’t believe that we live for just a few years and simply cease.  Our lives or a miracle, so an afterlife is not so hard to accept, or at least hope for, and as a Christian I put my hope in Christ; which does not take away from the search, it just gives me a direction to move toward.