Archives For mortality

When someone so well-loved, widely regarded, respected, and talented as Robin Williams was passes on it’s like losing a friend. Or a family member. This is someone who came into our homes week after week, who we visited at the cineplex, who was in the news.

So it hits hard.

Doubly so, and especially for those of is who grew up watching Mr. Williams’s work, because it reminds us of stark naked reality: if someone so rich, successful, and nearly universally loved as Williams was can die, so can we all.

We are not immune to death’s call. So far as I know there’s but one way to enter this world (birth), and though it take a myriad forms, one way to leave it:

Death.

As the story of Williams’s death broke we all felt you chill winds of mortality blow over our souls. Wealth, success, fame, power, regard are no antidote. While wealth may buy us extra time, it’s no guarantee. The late Steve Jobs was a billionaire, was able to extemd his life by a few years, yet still he had to pay the boatman.

Death, as Shakespeare said, is the “undiscovered country, from whose borne no traveler returns.” Even those of us who are Christians don’t know what awaits us on the other side. We have the Bible, and we have hope. But none of, despite claims to the contrary, has actually crossed over, seen what lies in that far country, and come back to report our findings.

It doesn’t work that way. God generally does not, as much as we wish it, gives us foreknowledge of our own ends. He teaches is instead to number our days, to live as if He were coming back, indeed to live as if each day was our last.

Because we never know. It could be a car accident, a plane crash, a heart attack, a tumor, or any number of things which could lay each one of us low. The only think I know that is sure, upon which I have staked my life, is this:

“He that believes in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. He that lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”

That’s what it comes down to, friends:

Faith, and

Trust

Where are you placing yours? Knowing that this one life you’ve been given here upon this earth will end, where–in whom–are you placing your faith, your trust?

Your (eternal) life depends upon it.

Yesterday, I spent several hours–and made several attempts–trying to update the apps on my iPhone. The simple reason it took so long is because I had let it go for so long. Because of this, there were about one hundred sixteen apps that needed updates.

You read that right: 116.

Thing is, my phone was too full to allow those updates to install. I kept getting an error about this.

So I would remove some things, try again.

Same error. Removed other things.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Like life of late, this was feeling like rather too much work.

If you were to look at my:

Desk

Car

House

You would find much the same thing: rather a lot of clutter that is entirely too much work to dig my way out of.

J.K. Rowling famously had Professor Dumbledore say that “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

By that metric, I suppose I will never die! For mine is far from a well-organized mind. The random moniker you see in the banner above is more than just a catchy name–it’s become a way of life.

A sad half-life, perhaps. It’s no way for a Christian–let alone anyone–to live. Yet there it is: a decided lack of intentionality, a random knocking through the days, just getting by.

Truth be told, I know I shan’t live forever (not in this body, anyway). If the last few years, and health concerns, are any indication, the end may come sooner rather than later. (Don’t worry–other than aging, I’m not actively “dying”–that I know of).

Death can come to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Trayvon Martin was just walking home; you, or I, could be in a car accident, or… Or…

More distressing to me than the thought of not being there to see my kids graduate high school, or walk my daughter down the aisle, is the legacy–should I depart before then–of simply surviving, of getting by, I would leave them.

Not to mention the messes both literal, and metaphoric, I would leave in my wake. God forbid they should have to clean any of that stuff up.

Yet undoubtedly they shall. As I saw when my folks dealt with the aftermath(s) of their parents’ passings.

As I’m sure I will when my parents pass.

I hope, despite my flaws, I’ve left something with my kids that my folks didn’t impart to me:

Jesus.

That broken, cluttered, though my soul was, they remember me as man who both sought, and gave, grace.

It may take the rest of my life, but I hope that when I do shuffle off this mortal coil–that when this mortal takes on immortality–it is with a more well-organized mind.

And life.

What about you? What legacy do you want to leave?