I struggle with death. Though not about to die, I am dying. We all are. I am not alone in my struggle, either, because none of us escapes this world alive. I’m sure you’ve thought about it, perhaps rarely, but nevertheless at times. I think about it more often than you do, perhaps, although when you’ve accumulated as many summers as I have, you may think of it more often, too.
“It’s a good day to die,” says the American Indian Lame Deer as he gets up in the morning. He is far more accepting of death than we White People. He sees death as part of a natural process of living, which of course, it is. “Not too cold, not too hot,” he goes on, “It’s a good day to die.” He accepts his death. “It’s never a good day to die for the White Man,” he accuses. He’s right on. We resist; I resist. We think we are, or should be, immortal–in the flesh. Unless, of course, we suffer from cancer, Lou Gehrig’s, or some other severely debilitating illness. Even advanced aging wears down the spirit with the body, leading to the thought of relief.
“If we never died,” my MD classmate from college tells me, “We’d never do anything. Think about it,” he says. “We’d lie on the couch all day long.” He’s also got a point. For me, because I’m aware of my death, not imminent, but certain, I “need” to finish writing my book. That’s my legacy to the world, especially to hurting people. I want to leave a well-written, helpful book for people who have suffered tragedy or loss. They may also doubt God because of it. In spite of its complicated structure and bitter language, I want the Book of Job to live, to bring healing to hurting people today. So I’m hustling to get it done. Only 1 more chapter and an Epilog to go. If I weren’t dying, would I bother?
Is today a good day for you to die? What is your legacy?