In the last nine months, there has been an unprecedented usage of the word “unprecedented.” Not without reason, of course, as we are in the throes of a continuing pandemic and new records of lives lost to this invisible killer are being set almost daily. While the coronavirus is indeed “novel,” there is one thing that we are seeing too much of these days which is not new at all; namely, a nagging inconvenient reality- our own mortality. The big D.
Thankfully, my wife and I have been spared thus far from this ravaging virus. But we are getting older, and therefore closer than ever to the day of our departure. That thought struck me this week as I was considering enrolling in long term care insurance. It was disturbing to think that someday I may need such care, but eventually I will no longer need it because I will no longer be on this earth.
Novelist William Saroyan, shortly before his passing in 1981, said “Death comes to everyone, but I had always thought an exception would be made in my case. Now what? To contemplate ones own demise is more terrifying than anyone will admit. Most cope with their mortality by denying it. Many chose instead to “live their lives” to the fullest. But however hearty we may party, as William James said, “…the skull grins in at the banquet.” There are no exceptions, no exemptions.
I hope this current plague gets lifted soon, but one thing will remain, our mortality. Our days are numbered. We would do well to heed the words of Ecclesiastes 7:2- “Everyone dies, so the living should take this to heart” However the Good News that transcends this hard reality, is the hope of the resurrection. As Jesus rose from the dead, He promises eternal life to all who believe in Him. The mortal will then experience something truly unprecedented-immortality.