Recently, I heard an old interview with Mike Wallace who died last month at age 93. Mr. Wallace had anchored the TV news show 60 minutes for 40 years and the interview made me think of my own mortality.
I’ll be 49 next month. Not old. Not young. But it occurred to me that at some point, without noticing a change, I did change. I crossed a bridge in my mind without knowing it was there. One one side of the bridge death was so distant that I couldn’t imagine it happening to me. Now, on this side, death is something I can see on a distant horizon.
Someday, if I grow old. I’ll cross another bridge, and I’ll realize death is not very far off. I wonder when I’ll cross that bridge? I wonder if I’ll notice it? I wonder how I’ll feel about it…
And then, if I grow old like Mike Wallace, 30-40 years from now, I will die. No more heart beat. No breath or brain waves. I hope someone I love will be there to say goodbye to me, to hold my hand.
Reality check: the average life expectancy of a U.S. white male is 76.5.
I’m pretty average.
No one wants to die, you know. Not even people like me, who believe in eternal life, who believe that death is a transition from a cursed world apart from God, to a world of blessing in God’s presence. That’s because death is still an enemy. It’s still wrong. It’s not supposed to be.
But, it is.
Cherish the gift of life.
Don’t waste it, Lon.
And be ready, always, to surrender it.
“Live to the hilt, every situation you believe to be the will of God.” — Jim Elliot
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” — Psalm 90:12
“Resolved, to think much on all occasions of my own dying, and of the common circumstances which attend death.” — Jonathan Edwards, (Resolutions, #9)
“Resolved, that I will live so as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.” — Jonathan Edwards, (Resolutions, #17)
“I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” –– Jesus (John 11:25)
How does death and dying affect your life and living?
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4 thoughts on “Mortality and Me”
Interesting and thought-provoking post. While most of us are average we serve an amazing God. Jim Elliot also said, “Forgive me for being so ordinary while claiming to know such an extraordinary God.”
Blessings to you
Thanks BloggerBob. Love that quote from Elliot. Thanks for sharing.
I, for one, will NOT grow old gracefully! On the outside, I fight with what I look at in the mirror; on the inside, there is an ever constant feeling, a nagging you might say, to do more for the Kingdom of God. My son is my mission right now and that is so important to me, but I have a sense that I am not doing what it is that I was meant to do.
Beauty is fleeting, but our purpose is everlasting!
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