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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mortality

There is no Death! What seems so is transition;
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call Death.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Resignation

Lord, make me to know my end.
And what is the extent of my days.
Let me know how transient I am.
Behold, Thou hast made my days as handbreadths,
And my lifetime as nothing in Thy sight.
Surely every man at his best is a mere breath.
~ Psalm 39: 4-5
Mortality has been on my mind since 9/11. Watching the videos and the people whose lives ended on that day always makes me think about our mortality. It is one of those questions that has always baffled me. It is hard to grasp. First, I think of the randomness of it. I know that Christians are not supposed to believe in randomness. God is sovereign we say and he determines our fate. But it is not as simple as it looks. The evidence just doesn't appear evident. I imagine all those people that just went to work that day and never came back. I imagine those that jumped out of the towers. Was this random or planned? I am reading a book on the Spanish Conquest of Mexico and the killing that went on on both sides just seems so random. Again, some would argue that God was involved. They will try to defend God's sovereignty. I personally don't know how or if God is involved. I tend to believe is not an either/or proposition.Second, our mortality, whether we can understand it or not leads us to think what's behind it. When I was a child I had dreams of death and would leave me thinking what was after. I had a hard time believing there was nothing. Last week I saw a documentary where a scientist asserted with full confidence that after death there was nothing. We cease to exist, he said and he was perfectly fine with it. I just can't believe that! So no matter how much I struggle with understanding our mortality I still have faith. Faith in life after death. A life without the randomness that this one appears to have. I cannot conceive our mortality ending in nothingness. That's just too much to believe.