Preparing to present a devotion at a craft group after a demonstration by a funeral director, I decided to run with the flow, and get people engaged in the imminence of their death.
Nothing arouses thought for the transient nature of life more, for me personally, then the panpipes instrumental, The Lonely Shepherd. Any time I hear this music I immediately think of my passing. And this type of thought is a blessing.
It is not a morbid thought. It’s the thought grounded in the truth that God could eliminate my breath and stop my heart inside a second. These are such humbling realities. It places all our anxieties and complexities and conflicts into context.
The question which arises for me out of the thought of my death is,’Am I cherishing the fact that I’m alive?’ Am I holding life lightly? Am I buried in my work? – for my wife, my son, my daughters, my parents? What am I putting off that I shouldn’t be? Who is it that will really miss me when I’m gone? And am I making time for these people today? Have I made all efforts to reconcile with those I’ve aggrieved? Am I making God known? Am I aware of all should be? What should I do before I die?
Have I got any regrets about life? Can I do anything about them? Have I really accepted the consequences of my actions? Is there joy in my life? What can I do to connect to peace, hope and joy?
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This is the most pulsating truth of life: you and I’m alive, for such a time as this, and soon it’ll be over. As we all know, with grandparents and parents having passed away, or those getting ready for such an occasion, life seems long, but from some viewpoints of irony it is extremely short indeed.
It is not a morbid idea to plan for one’s funeral; this type of notion reminds us how precious life is, and it causes us to cherish the fact that we are alive.