When your baby (yes, she was my baby at 15) passes suddenly in the night, your perspective on life tends to shift. We all tell ourselves that we know we’re not going to live forever, but we don’t really mean it. As parents, we think our kids are going to live forever, because anything past our horizon is forever and they are going to outlive us- surely. We whistle past the graveyard. We watch tragedy strike others, but it’s not going to strike us. My grandmother used to tell us “if you live long enough you’re going to get old.” Simple, yet profound. When we’re young we think we’re going to be young forever. Well, one more thing, Grandbaby, “If you live long enough, tragedy is going to strike you.” You are going to have something to grieve. Everything here is temporary, everything. Ironically, a lot of what we build as humans will outlast us. The very homes we build to protect ourselves will most likely be standing long after we, the inhabitants are gone. Before Shayna passed I was standing on the deck watching the ash tree in the backyard die, looking at the place where the swing set used to be and I thought “One day someone else will be standing on my deck”. I actually got a bit angry about someone invading my home that I’ve cherished so much after I’m gone. These bodies, as magnificent as they are, are also highly susceptible to accident and disease. They’re frail. Life is precious partially because life is so fragile. That is life in the body is fragile. You, however are indestructible.
I have good news and I have better news. The good news is you are not going to live here forever. The body we inhabit was born to die. It was meant to die. It was not designed to live forever, no matter how we would like to believe medical science will someday make that possible. I know what the myth in Genesis says, but we were not meant to live here forever even before Eve took a bite of the fruit. This world is meant to be a place we pass through. We are here to learn, to love and to experience, but this is not home. Enjoy it while you’re here, but focus on where you true home is- where you came from and where you will return to. So, yes, it’s good news you will not be here forever.
The better news is you will live forever. Believer or not, when your flesh no longer can sustain itself your spirit will be released and you will return home. That is something I once feared with all my being because I knew God had a fiery hell waiting for me when I returned. I wished I had never been born. Then, I thought maybe there’s nothing after death. I still wished I had never been born because what was the point of all the suffering we go through if there’s nothing after it’s all over. If it’s a zero sum game, we come from nothing and we return to nothing, why even exist at all. Then, I discovered the really good news. We don’t return to nothing, we return to what we truly are, which is greater than most of us can even imagine. I’m looking forward to going home, all the more knowing that my Shayna is already there.
My focus on life has changed in the last 40 days. Thinking long term about this life is not important to me anymore. Sweating the small stuff is not important to me anymore. I have to take care of business in the 3D world but that is secondary. I have to sustain this body because there are people who like having me around and people who depend on having me around. My primary focus now is I’m really going to concentrate on building up treasures in heaven. And treasures in heaven isn’t a bigger mansion or more stars on my crown. Treasures in heaven is having a good life review. I want when I see my life played before my eyes to know I touched as many people as possible and made them just a little happier. Treasure in heaven is growing my soul. Treasure in heaven is accomplishing whatever my mission was for this life. I am going to live forever, just not here.