“Why the heck did you come out here?” the attendant asked. “You may want to leave soon.” I was at the store picking up some DayQuill, and she asked for my ID. I’d just moved to California, but my ID was still Virginia.
I smiled at her and said, “Oh, you know, friends, family. It’s where I grew up. I’m already feeling the pain financially. But I figure, we’re all gonna die at some point, so might as well spend our time with and be close to the people we love most.”
One Way to Put It
She and another cashier looked at me stunned, and laughed nervously. “Well, that’s certainly one way to put it!” the other one said.
It’s like they never contemplated the reality that they will die. I’m still in my twenties and I’ve thought about it a lot. When you read the Bible, stoics like Seneca and Cicero, Confucius, most of the great philosophers and writers of Western history, and other wise men and women down through the ages, they bring it up frequently. If you seek to be wise, you must think about your death.
One of my favorite verses from the Psalms says “Teach me to know my end, O Lord, and what is the measure of my days. Let me know how fleeting I am.” It is really important to know how fleeting we are. If we don’t, we are that much more likely to build our lives on vanity.
It’s not a morbid thing. I believe in the Resurrection. I believe in the life eternal because of Jesus Christ. But the days of my mortal life are numbered. We best deal with death now, because it will one day deal with us.