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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The only time to live is now

Be constantly aware that you have to die someday. Only then will you, hopefully, live your Life fully! 

This morning we visited a friend who had lost his mother on Monday. It so happened that the funeral rites were being performed just when we visited their home; the body was being prepared for the final journey to the crematorium. We had known our friend’s mother well. She was a person who, despite her husband’s passing away 15 years ago, was full of Life. She celebrated music and the arts and kept herself busy in the company of her family and friends. Although she was in her eighties, and surely had her share of physical ailments, she was always cheerful and dressed very elegantly. To see her lifeless body, draped in a white cloth, was definitely a numbing experience. That’s when it struck me that however much we may understand death, or may have seen it happen around us, when it arrives, yet again, to claim someone we know, it always urges us to reflect on our lives and examine how we are living it.

In the end, all of us have to die. And our lifeless remains will be, hopefully I suppose (after MH 370, anything’s possible), cremated by our family and friends. Now, none of us can be sure of the time when death will come calling. But we surely know that it is inevitable, inescapable. So, the best time to live, the only time to live, is now!

But lost in the maze of our everyday lives, we are missing this opportunity to live. We are steeped in worry, anxiety, fear and insecurity. Or we are victims of our ego and are trying to control others and our own lives – with little success though. This is leading us to become frustrated or depressed. And before we know it, the years have flown past. Youth has made way to middle and old age. Arriving in the evening of our lives, we want to live better, but we have not much time left. This is why we end up becoming even more frustrated and feel guilty for missing this opportunity called Life. To rephrase British evangelist Leonard Ravenhill (1907 ~ 1994): “The opportunity of this (instead of the original ‘a’) lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.”

If we treat death as a constant companion, and not as a distant event that awaits our approval to occur,  we will live better and fully! When we live fuller lives, we will live, and don’t merely exist! 

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