The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.
Death comes to us all. We cannot escape it, nor can we run from it. Death will find us whether we welcome it like an old friend or reject it like the cancer it is, clinging to the last breath that leaves our malfunctioning lungs and hoping it will pass over to the next room. We are not invincible, though our minds tell us so. We are light and shadow and dust; nothing more. We are held by invisible strings. The Creator is holding us above the deep chasm of death and the only thing keeping us erect is His unfailing love for His creation. But soon, time will run her course and our bodies will wear thin and decay back to the ground from whence they came. It is inevitable.
The fear and stigma surrounding death only comes from the fear and stigma surrounding life. We are creatures of habit, afraid of change and always wanting some kind of consistency to the chaos we see around us. So we settle in life. We become that which we said we would never be. We do not take risks, for that would complicate the safe castles we have built for ourselves. Instead, we follow the rules. We follow the predetermined paths laid out before us, never forging our own way to see what might be beyond the safety of our own backyard, and all the while death is creeping along with us.
We fear that which we do not understand. We fear change because we do not understand why there must be a constant state of change. Why can we not stay the same? Because God has not called us into normality, of blacks and grays and whites, but into a world of color and grandeur. A world where we are constantly growing, stretching and molding ourselves into His likeness.
We fear rejection because we do not understand why people are so cruel. Why am I not accepted? Is it not the harshest teachers that teach us the most valuable lessons? Our validation of who we are does not depend upon people’s opinions or assumptions about us. Your validation and my validation comes from within. From what you know of yourself to be true and what God himself has whispered to the far corners of your heart.
This is why we fear death. Fear is all we know. How can we expect to meet the final chapter of our lives with some form of closure if we are afraid to even turn the page?
Death is no more than passing from one room into another. But there’s a difference for me, you know. Because in that other room I shall be able to see.
– Helen Keller
This is why we should not be afraid. Death is no more than a walk through the house. Passing into different rooms to make sure the lights are off and everything is where it should be. We cannot begin the journey unless everything is taken care of before hand. We know what will happen in the final stages of our lives, but we do not have to be afraid, because in that other room we pass into we shall be able to see. How glorious, how beautiful that statement is!
A woman blind and deaf from birth was not afraid of death because she knew once she passed into the other room, crossed the threshold, made the voyage across the sea, her blinded eyes would see and her deaf ears would hear for the first time. Oh, to have been there that day and witness the beauty that is God and the love that encompasses Him.
Just imagine the wonder of knowing the final redemption is awaiting you once you step foot into that world. You will be at one with the Creator. You will be at peace. You will be at home.
To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.
– J.K. Rowling
Is not our lives one adventure after another? We are born and our adventure starts. The pages of our life are waiting to be written. From our first steps, to our first kiss, to mistakes made and words said, to places visited and dreams shattered and made new, to love and marriage and parenthood, the story of our lives is being written by everything we do. Every choice, every action, and every word tells our story.
“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
What do you want your story to say? Do you want to live a life of fear? Or do you want to live a purpose driven life? The choice is up to you. Do not let fear control your life and what you do with it. Realize your potential and rise up to it. Do not be afraid, for what is there to fear? Be who you were meant to be and live your life fully.
Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.