I’m not afraid to die. My main reason for staying on this earth really is other people. (That statement sounds so noble, I immediately want to erase it. Whatever I am, noble and unselfish are not the first two words that come to mind.) There is a longing in me for something better, a perfect world, which makes leaving this one not so terrifying.
Yesterday, I had to leave my lovely daughter, her two babies, her fine husband and return to Alaska. It was sad. Why is this world sad? The evolutionists brush this off with an anemic “survival of the fittest” assertion. In other words, it’s only sad for the losers. That anyone is satisfied with this explanation baffles me.
When I come home, I find the grass grown impossibly long (except for where it has not grown at all) and old tasteless popcorn gone to waste, stale bread because no one eats bread but me and cat poop outside my office door. This does not mention all the other problems of a more serious nature waiting for me to attend to them. See? Sad things, everywhere.
Elvis Perkins wrote
Stay if you want;
There is enough
Sadness for the
Both of us.
Follow the sound
To the table underground,
There will be plenty
Tears goin’ round.
And I would be happy
For you to stay
With me ’til tomorrow
Can become today.
In a sad world.
In a sad world.
Yet, this is not entirely true. There are plenty of wonderful moments, belly laughs, loving touches, and sweet embraces to fill in the gaps between the sad moments. They make life bearable and even delightful which helps while cleaning up after the cat. So what is the point? Do we live for moments of wonder and bear up under terrible sadness and hope the two balance each other out? Is each day a race to fill it with more joy than pain and the winner is the one who has the most fun?
Clearly not. To any thinking person this is an unsatisfactory means and purpose for life.
It occurs to me that I feel the greatest joy when I am with people I love and who love me. The deepest pain comes from people who despise me and make no attempt to hide it. Sometimes I hate them and I hate myself for hating them. Then I try to talk myself into not hating them because I don’t want to hate anybody. I am not satisfied with the result. True satisfaction would indeed be found in a painless world, where death does not exist, freedom and creativity reign, beauty never fades and every created thing capers under the umbrella of nothing but loving relationships.
And there we are. Right back to relationships, the essence of life and the secret to finding it’s deeper meaning. C.S. Lewis in his essay “The Weight of Glory” describes that moment which will occur in every human life when we come face to face with the living God. He will turn to some and smile as only God can smile and say “Welcome home.” Others will be filled with deep shame and dread, and I think anger, and will wish to say “I prefer the world from whence I came where You were pointless to me and I served myself.” God will then pronounce those terrible words, “I never knew you.”
He can’t mean that He did not know our name, our existence, our history. No. He can only mean, “we never were in relationship with each other.” He then will say, “I will grant your wish for a world without Me. Be warned! It will be hell.”
I am not afraid to die because there awaits for me the world I deeply long to be part of forever. I do not wish to die because of the people I love on this earth as it is. This is one reason we need to improve this place for the sake of others and we are justly proud of those who make this their life purpose: to serve mankind. Look closely though. All of these things point to relationship because God has made it to be this way. Thus there is no satisfactory way to live without seeking Him which means Jesus because He is the face of God. His is the head which will turn and His is the smile we will see.
Matthew 25 :23) “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness! (NIV)