‘You will die…’
That’s a fact. I can just imagine my African brethren saying God for bid, in every language under the sun.
We all know it’s going to happen but for some reason we want to cling on to life. I wonder, is it the fear of the unknown? is it because we’ve got so much going for us we don’t want to let it go? or is it for fear of what we’re going to leave behind?
As a child I had a couple of brushes with death, I was a victim of hit and run accidents – twice, and didn’t even break any bones, all I had were a few scrapes on my knee. I fell down a flight of spiral stairs once – the result was a very serious head injury which left me with stitches on my forehead (it’s like the sign of a cross – what can I say, the Lord’s mark is on me in more ways than one ;) ) oh and I’ve had a couple of serious surgeries. I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but that’s just the way I am, so long as it was just a brush with death and I didn’t die – then that’s all good – I don’t feel the need to cling to memory too much.
I think these experiences are reasons why I have a cavalier attitude towards death, even though i feel sick when i hear of a death. Up on till a few years ago, I used to think that i may die young (I’m not so young anymore, so that feeling’s mute) and even though to some people that seems like a terrible thing, generally speaking – to me it doesn’t matter how old you die, what matters most is that you’ve accomplished your divine purpose. The way I see it, if you complete you assignment at the age of 20, excellent – you get the privilege to move on… where you go to is an open to debate, but judging by how Christ was dismissive about what happens to the dead, I don’t think I need to worry too much about what happens afterwards while I’m here.
Someone once told me, he’s a Christian because he wants to go to heaven – I imagine a few Christians feel this way. His words made me realise that I actually don’t think about heaven much, I can’t say that my motivation for being a Christian is to dodge hell – the fact is that I’m so obsessed with having a relationship with God here on earth, that I can’t be bothered to think about heaven – I just trust that I’ll be with Him, no point dreaming about pearly gates and streets paved with gold, heaven is beyond my comprehension, so why get distracted by it? I should probably be more focused on heaven itself, but eternity to me doesn’t conjure images of heaven, rather i think of an uninterrupted relationship with God.
Anyway – I digress – back to talk of death (how morbid do I sound? ;)
Seriously though, I embrace death, I welcome death, and I want to say I could stare death in the face with boldness and not fear it.
I’ll tell you what. I remember being on a plane to Ontario in the peak of winter and the plane experienced such fierce turbulence, the lights were flickering, things were flying out of over head lockers (left open or not shut properly, who knows) and the oxygen masks had been released – naturally my immediate reaction was shock and fear, and I prayed to God for safety, funny thing is as I prayed, I felt calm, because I knew my time was not up yet, I hadn’t even started on the things God had called me to do with my life, and seeing as he doesn’t change his mind, I kinda knew I was going to be alright – so I grabbed my blanket and snuggled up in my seat watching other passengers freak out.
Since I became a mother though, my thoughts of death have changed. My fearlessness has made way for contemplation. Where I used to be confident about my purpose, I feel the need more to beg the Lord that should that be completed before my son grows up, may he give me the grace for long life to see him become the extra ordinary person he was made to be. My prayers for life tend to become more selfish, as I ask for the blessing to be the one to bring my son up and not someone else, to stay a wife to my husband and not just a fond memory (well at least not be parted too early by death).
Yet, I feel a conflict in my heart as I say those prayers, as I grow deeper in love with the Lord and my heart pursues what he’s called me to be. There are many scriptures that offer comfort and solace when I feel this way, things that reassure me that God knows best, and he loves my husband and son more than I could ever love them and regardless of what happens he’ll always have their best interest at heart. This gives me confidence to stay fearless in the face of death and my heart swells with confidence – for instance sometimes when I’m underground the train jerks with a loud bang and the lights go out briefly – while other passengers hold their breath and subconsciously look at the bearded man holding rosary beads, I just smile to myself and think – it’s not my time… (I hate to admit it, but people are still really jumpy about Muslim-looking people getting on the train, it’s so sad but true)
Anyway, in a bid to celebrate my life before it’s gone – seeing as I won’t be here when others do it – I thought I’d share an abbreviated version of my bucket list.
- I’d like to experience child-birth the way God intended ( I’m not mad, I promise)
- I’d like to see all my children succeed and be there for my grand children
- I’d like to see my husband and I accomplished in our ministry
I like to think I’m a free spirit, I’d do anything at least once and I have an adventurous heart, so I know in the time I’ve got I will do some crazy stuff, that’s probably why my bucket list has things that are beyond my control – boring, I know, but hey, all other things like jumping out of a plane (which I’ve already done) and seeing the world’s wonders are great, but if it just doesn’t happen then let’s just say I won’t be rolling in my grave.
So, tell me, how do you feel about death? Care to share 3 things on your bucket list? Go on.. here’s a list of ideas i stumbled on.