Mortality

I just lost another high school classmate.  I remember Doug the way he was, and I smile.  I’m sorry the ravages of age and disease took him from us too early.  Or is it right to say, “Too early?”  Who are we to determine how long life should last?  The Psalmist tells us that our years are numbered…”threescore and ten,” as I recall.  That’s 70, and that’s where a lot of us are, who were born when our fathers came home from World War II.  The answer, of course, is to live every day responsibly and joyfully, as much as we can.

But the death of someone my age strikes me.  The existentialists tell us that each human being has to grapple with the reality of “non-being” until he or she comes up with a solution that keeps us out of a psychiatric ward.  Many of us have found peace in knowing that this life is only a brief span when seen in the breadth of eternity.  We even believe that the One who has gone before us has already conquered death itself. And we trust Him to bring us home.

Before I travel, which I’ll be doing in a few days, I always seem to need the kind of secure bedrock that I’m describing.  In a day of global terrorism, I have to get my “house in order” and my final chapter prepared.  God is the one who promises protection and provision…or strength to face unanswered prayer and the suffering that comes with it.

So I say, “Rest in peace, Doug. I hope you found an anchor in the storms of  life, and I pray you’ve discovered safe harbor on some sunny distant shore.”