The first certainty


A friend was relating to us yesterday, the sad story of his co-worker being terminally sick. It must be such a confronting matter to deal with. I cannot imagine what a person does, when confronted with the reality of an impending death – and one that is near. If there is luxury of time to absorb the initial shock before emerging to make the most of what time remains, it would indeed be a triumph of sorts, given the circumstances. Absent such luxury, how does one work out priorities and action at this time?

I guess that dilemma, pressing and focused as it is, is simply a microcosm of life generally. 6 months is a lifetime for some. That lifetime is 70, 80 or 90 years for others. Or if you live in a place like Ikarian or Okinawa (I think), perhaps 100. Whatever the number, it is finite. The end comes – sooner or later. For little Ezra that was 22 days. For JFK it was 46 years. My late grandfather (who was 90 when he died, I think) often quoted Psalm 90.

Psalm 90

9 For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh. 10 The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away. 11 Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you? 12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

We are to acknowledge our mortality so that we may be wiser. Accept death’s reality and one lives wisely. There is a lot to be said and done in response to this pearl, no?

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