Are we any better off...?
Does it really matter...?
Usually, I would publish a note on my Facebook profile. However, I myself am seeking an answer. You see, I have been the ministry for over 20 years. In those 20 years, I have seen people go through some pretty times--I have seen people courageously fight cancer and come out the conqueror: then again, I have seen people, who for no apparent reason, just pass away. At this time, we have several people in our congregation who are considerably older and their health is quickly diminishing. I know they are at the end of their road here on earth.
This morning I went to go see such a person. She is 88 years of age and has always been active. Her mind has always been sharp as a number 2 pencil. She was admitted to the hospital for reasons I cannot share. However, I can say that last week she had her wits about her: this morning was an entirely different story. She was confused; disoriented, and scared. My heart broke and my heart bled for her. I heard the same question this morning as I have heard countless of times...Why?
For some odd reason that question haunted me this morning? Why? In past years I was always able to provide words of comfort and assurance: but not today. Why? I thought on my home. Why? Why does God allow us to born to know that ultimately we were created to die? Why is it that we want to procreate knowing very well that our children will someday suffer the same fate? Why do we rejoice in the birth of grandchildren knowing that as they grow older they will bring to their parents what we brought to ours? For example, I can vividly recall sharing with people how and when are girls learned how to walk, talk, ride a bike...everything new was occasion for celebration. As time went by those things we celebrated would ultimately come back to haunt us...the teenage years: attitude, criticism, rebellion and what have you! You just pray that as they mature you mature with them. You learn from your mistakes and move on.
Then my mind took on a whole new direction as I drove home...I believe it took its turn when a person failed to use a turn signal almost causing a ten car collision. And, of course, I would have been the one at fault. But as a youth, I remember when power windows, steering, and brakes and, believe or not, seat belts were considered a luxury on a car. Now it is satellite radio, voice activated commands and so forth. I remember when man first landed on the moon. Now we have space stations that house astronauts for months and years. I remember a time when you wanted to call someone, you either pulled off the side of the road to use a phone booth or you waited till you got home. I remember a time when kids would be out and about playing in the woods, the fields, and the streets. Now they sit in front of the computer or a game station of some sort. And speaking of television, I remember a time when we only had ABC, CBS, and NBC as primary stations. Now they are only three of thousands. I remember when a person who lived to be 65 years of age was considered old. Today it is considered what the new 50?
All of these things are good--do not misunderstand me. Each one came as result of our ability to think; to reason, to search and to explore. Returning to the lady in hospital. Knowing that we have accomplished so much in such a short time, in the end does it really matter? Does it really make a difference? Are we really any better off. Sadly, the answer is no. The final chapter to our lives will end with the same conclusion...some marker that let others know we existed for a short time on this earth.