….THE ONE SUBJECT…
by Bill Byrnes
“ Well, I know I gotta’ die sometime–I just ain’’t too crazy ‘bout the timing.” — James Whitmore– “Chuka” – movie- 1967
PART 1: The Fear
Well, I’ve touched lots of “bases” with my articles, and I appreciate the flattering responses I’ve received. But, there is a topic I haven’t written about –till now. You see, there’s one subject that has caused more discomfort, pain, apprehension and fear than any other…DEATH– specifically–our death! Whoops, strike that! It’s not the subject that causes the fear–it’s flat-out the way we think about it!
Are there many other words that can cause us to bring to our conscious level the same degree of fear as the word “death”? I don’t think so. Everyone thinks about it at some time or other.
What’s your philosophy? Is it a scary scenario…like Ebenezer Scrooge focusing in on his own tombstone. Does it leave you to scared to think past it? Then you just sort of “table” it to the future? Or, are you just the opposite, boasting to your friends (over drinks) that “That’s when I’m gonna’ throw a “mega” party–celebrating leaving all this B.S. life throws at us. Heck, the mourning ought to come at birth–when we all get in line for life’s troubles!”. This bravado can be either a mask for great fear, or a disguise for emotional non-involvement–found with our next group. But, really, is there any difference between the two? Isn’t emotional non-involvement the same thing as admitting, “I’m un-involved because I’m afraid of what I might find out?
Is it a scary scenario–like Ebeneezer Scrooge?
Perhaps, you’re in the pensive group: you’re neither a “believer” in God, nor a skeptic; just someone who’s too busy to involve your emotional energies in any activity not related to your job–or whatever “fast track” you’re running on. This group can also contain soldiers, policemen, firemen or any others whose jobs might place them in harm’s way at any time. Again, the same question applies: are you afraid to think past that nasty word: DEATH!
For the moment, PLEASE allay your fears and your obstinance to confront this topic: wouldn’t it be GREAT if all us lost our fear of DEATH , ours or anyone else’s. IT IS POSSIBLE! Also, it’s possible to lose your fears and still hold onto the will to live as long a life as you can. There is nothing that says the length of one’s life is at all proportional (directly or inversely) to the amount of fear we have of dying!
It is possible to lose your fear of death!
Let me add some meaning to a cliché: “We can’t be so scared of dying that we’re afraid of living!” Really, my entire premise is summed up with this addition: “We can’t be so scared of dying that we’re afraid of living–IN CHRIST!
“And deliver them, who thru fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews: 2:15
If your fear of death has had you “subject to its bondage” — well, welcome to what might be the largest club in history! It started with Adam and Eve almost 6,000 years ago– after snacking on forbidden fruit.
The fear started almost 6,000 years ago!
Perhaps our basis for the fear of death comes from an innate association of death with wrongdoing, or evil. There is ample Biblical correlation for this. of Proverbs: 10:2: “Treasures of wickedness profit nothing: but, righteousness delivereth us from death.”, and again from Proverbs:11:4: “Riches profit not in the Day of Wrath; but righteousness delivereth from death.” And, there are several other passages scattered throughout the Bible that reflect the same thoughts. Thousands of years separate these three references–but the logic is the same:
If we live a good and righteous life, we will be delivered from the fear and the “pains” of death.
Not one person–NO ONE–who has ever lived has NOT died!
Therefore, Why must I (and my loved ones) face death? We have lived good lives. We’ve never hurt anyone and we’ve always been law-abiding. Why is it that me and my loved ones have to die? And, of course, why is it that any “good” people , anywhere, must die? We have done no evil–haven’t stolen anything or killed anyone! So, why must good people (any creed or religion) suffer? It just IS NOT right!
I’m the first to admit that I agree: it is not right. And, these tenets pose what is perhaps, the main contradiction faced by anyone who has ever lived: Why must all good people suffer from the pains of death–especially given it’s unpredictable, capricious, nature?
“Don’t be afraid–come one-come all–ALL applicants will be accepted!
There REALLY IS an answer! Please, keep an open mind as we look to the only source of answers for all questions relating to life (and death): THE BIBLE!
NEXT: PART 2: The Answer