16th Nov 2012. By Dr Lim Poh Ann –
We often take for granted we’ll be greeted every morning by birds and light streaming into our room. But how sure are we that we’ll wake up tomorrow?
John had great plans for his retirement. Having made his pile in the Malaysian real estate business, he dreamed of spending his twilight years with his wife in his own retirement cottage in the Cotswolds — “the most English and the least spoiled of all our countrysides”, as J.B. Priestley puts it.
Popular with both the English themselves and international visitors from all over the world, the area is well known for gentle hillsides (‘wolds’), outstanding countryside with river valleys, water meadows and beech woods, sleepy ancient limestone villages, historic market towns and for being so ‘typically English’ where time has stood still for over 300 years. Outdoor activity pursuits include walking, cycling, fishing, golfing, garden visits, horse riding, camping and caravanning.
But before he could fulfill his dreams, he was stricken with lung cancer and passed away in less than six months. So much for retirement dreams dashed into pieces.
We’re never really in control of our lives. We often take for granted we’ll be greeted every morning by birds and light streaming into our room. But how sure are we that we’ll wake up tomorrow?
“Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes” (James 4:14).
We get jolted from our complacency when a close friend or relative dies suddenly. We’re reminded of our mortality and a chilling realisation sets in.
One day, we will be lowered in a casket into the ground or cremated. Our relatives and friends will then depart for a meal or some refreshments. Life goes on for our family members but we will no longer know what happens to them on earth.
Though no one fancies being reminded about death, we cannot run away it. So it’s better to be realistic and consider our end.
Few can confidently proclaim like the apostle Paul: “The time of my death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. Now heavenly rewards await me” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
Though we’ll never be able to match a spiritual giant like Paul, we should still be proactive — plan and live out our lives so that it will be glorifying to God.
For it is only when we learn how to face death squarely that we’re able to live a fulfilling and productive life.
Porridge For The Soul By Dr Lim Poh Ann
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