Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reaching Our Destiny

It's not a new concept but I was thinking about this the other day as I spoke at the funeral of a grand old gentleman.

You have to be brave to get old. I admire those that do it. They persevere while the body diminishes and the mind slows down, compensating with experience and maturity of the spirit.

However, it doesn’t seem fair. Many people have asked me over the years, “Why am I still here if I can’t do anything productive? If all I am is a burden for others to bear, what’s the point of existing?”

The question assumes that life can only be evaluated by what we do and then simply grinds to a halt. The saying goes: “Life is hard and then you die.”

But we don’t believe that, do we?

Christ teaches that this life is preparation for the next one. I think of the metaphor of the caterpillar that shuts down, wraps itself in a cocoon, and then breaks out to be the butterfly that celebrates its new life by taking flight. Christ didn’t look forward to his death but he consoled himself by thinking of how the seed has to die before it can become what it was meant to be, and so he had to die in order to become truly glorified.

He died quite suddenly, but some of us take a while to reach that point. Whether it comes sooner or later, whether it is quick or gradual, we all have the moment when the body dies so we can become the person we were destined to be.

We call it resurrection.

We become less so we can be more. We get old so we can be new. We die so we can live.

It’s hard to grasp until you look at the butterfly and the tree.

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