“Lessons from Pain…MORTALITY.”
“Therefore, do not lose heart, but thought our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day (II Corinthians 4:16).” “For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven; inasmuch as we, having put it on, shall not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed, but to be clothed, in order that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge (II Corinthians 5:1-5).”
There is that word… that dreaded word …the word we wish to deny and pretend does not exist, the word we must all eventually face… “mortal.”
Sociologists observe that the baby boomer generation, more than any generation in history, is really fighting the process of aging.
Recently, I was speaking to a group in Silicon Valley (computer chips) and I told them that I lived in SiliconeValley where there is a plastic surgeon on every corner, ready, willing and able to make someone look ten years younger.
A well-known retailer has already written our baby boomer theme song… “I don’t want to grow up; I’m a Toy’s R Us kid.” I sing it all the time. It’s my mantra. Being a product of the 60’s, it is my protest song. I’m protesting the process of aging and fading away. Dying is for someone else! Yet having just read the dictation report from my second surgery, which saved me from a near fatal bout of Cardiac Tampanade, I did in fact almost die. Wow… a sober reality.
Additionally, my mother passed away on May 20, and there is only one sibling in her family of ten brothers and sisters left and she is in poor and declining health. While my father passed away over 20 years ago, I still have one aunt left on his side, one of five siblings who are in her 90s. With both of my parents gone, I am now next in line. Another shocking thought to consider.
On top of all that, I am turning 60 in 6 months. After my last hair cut, I did not have my glasses on and I looked down and said, wow, my hair is blond. When I put my glasses on, I could see it was in fact gray. Another unpleasant thought. Most of the time I feel like I am still 39, and yet, I am starting to feel the winds of change as the autumn of my life begins to blow in.
Let’s not forget that in the Garden of Eden (In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, by Iron Butterfly… there is the 60s again)… God said to Eve, “…don’t disobey me, for in the day you eat of the forbidden fruit, you shall die (New Milan Paraphrase).” Adam and Eve (humankind) were made to be eternal creatures. They / we were made in the “image and likeness of God” (Genesis 1:26-27) and since God is eternal, we too were made to live forever and that was supposed to be the norm. As humans living in 2008, we have come to believe that dying is normal, and it is, yet it is a punishment that we all must go through as a part of Adam and Eve’s original sin. Yet, it does not feel right to think of ourselves as living in a state of dying …and it should not… because it opposes and flies in the face of how we were originally designed.
Gratefully, I have a hope. A hope of eternal life. A clear faith and conviction that this mortal (Milan) will be swallowed up by life someday. For the Christian, death is not the end, but rather the first day of our eternal lives free from the curse.
Thanks & Love,
Milan and Kay
Next week: “Not Knowing ”