I am going to die someday. I have no idea when, where, how, or why, but it is inevitable. Inescapable. Undeniable. Unstoppable.
Basically, it’s going to happen whether I like it or not. Oh, same goes for you all too. (Sorry).
Depending upon your own beliefs, your thoughts on death may vary drastically. It may be the gateway to eternal life, or the cessation of life entirely. Is it the beginning or end? Is it reunion with those who came before you, or the final goodbye to those you have left behind? What lies behind this veil of death?
Simply put, it is everything… or it is nothing.
Let’s weigh out these implications. You may be surprised at the results. I’m sure most of us would like something to happen after we die. I mean, anything is better than nothing, right? (Well, besides some lava river scenario anyway). But the problem with eternity is…
IT LASTS TOO DAMN LONG.
I don’t care who you are. Living for as little as 500 years would drive me insane, no matter what I was doing. And as I’ve stated my entire life, I have an arrangement with God. He’s going to nuke me after 10,000 years, regardless. After that, I’m out.
But what is the alternative? Nothing? How could anyone be okay with nothing? With non-existence? Well, a positive thing about non-existence is…
YOU HAVE NO IDEA YOU DON’T EXIST.
I swear, some people think “no afterlife” means they would lay in the dark staring at the roof of their casket for trillions of years. I mean, were you bored to tears all that time you were waiting to be born? Honestly, there is somewhat of a similarity, a commonality with eternity and nothing. Eternity without meaning is nothing. Yet if we did not exist, would that not last forever? Look at the stars? How long have they shone? How long have they known?
What lies beyond this life is the greatest mystery of all, but that end should hold little sway over the here and now. Life is a gift, given by a power as mysterious as death itself. Some call it God. Others call it chance. We’re here either by providence, or for no “reason” at all. Again…
all or nothing.
Now, when we choose what we are living for, we’re simultaneously choosing what we would die for. It is worth the risk. Many could walk the rest of their days as a Christian or an atheist, all in, no matter what lies behind the veil. To believe is to be bold, to march down into the valley of death without fear. Fear means we are allowing death to dictate how we live our lives. This is the greatest injury we can inflict upon our own soul. Life is not about waiting to die.
How long have you been waiting to live?
Find a passion that consumes you, defines you. Make the angels envy your heaven built on earth, made of laughter and tears, long talks and kind deeds. Live a philosophy too grand for a textbook, etched on pages safe from time and ware. Write a symphony played on the heartstrings of strangers, filling your cathedral to the rafters. The agents of death cannot find you there. They bang on the doors as the flood waters rise higher.
There is nothing to fear, my child. Haven’t you heard?
You are alive. So live.