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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

I'm Not Afraid To Die (As Far As I Know)

Granted, there is nothing really wrong with me. I would not expect to die today. Or tomorrow. Or the day following. But who does? Unless you are one of those people who knows what is going to kill you, because it's a diagnosis you can't escape, most of us will be surprised.

I've decided I don't care that much.

Don't get me wrong. I'm enjoying myself, generally speaking. I'm not planning a trip to Sheol this week. But my life has a pattern. It has a purpose. The animating purpose of my life is Christ, and him crucified. If everything that means is true, death has already lost. Seriously. Have you stopped to think about this?

I was waiting for Entrepreneur Bob after Mass yesterday. Actually, me and another guy. He was taking a long time. Not just a moment or two. We sat there maybe 15 minutes. I said to the other guy without thinking, "Maybe he died in the church."

"Don't say that!"

"Why not? To die right after Holy Communion? You could do worse."

Sure, it was a little glib. I hate death. I've seen too much of it in my life. But the point of being a Christian is this: you may die, but you won't stay dead. Eternal life is not a joke. (Nor is eternal damnation, of course.)

I'll say it again: To die is not the worst thing. The worst thing is not to live. Life without living is merely existing. And existing consists in merely breathing without truly loving God, or anyone else. John Piper is absolutely right about one thing: Don't waste your life. Christ's flesh and blood he gave on the cross. It wasn't wasted; he gave it away. Give your life away. When it is taken from you, the only thing that will matter is whether you gave your life away.

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