Last night I was scanning some old pictures that I found in my room. It's really something to look at yourself in the past and wonder about that person. You recognize yourself, and know that it's you, but the person in the picture is also mysterious and opaque, somebody else in a different place with thoughts and dreams that might have become quite foreign over the intervening years.
It got me thinking about death, and what it means spiritually. This life culminates in our death, so to think of ourselves in process is always to think about where it will all end up. Every moment that comes and goes presents us with a choice of what sort of person we are going to be. Each day our lives become that much less subject to revision. Finally, at the moment of our death, for better or for worse, we have decided who we are going to be in the world and all we were to God, ourselves, and each other goes into the immutability of eternity. The prayer at the beginning of the wake service puts this together so well for me: "We believe that all the ties of friendship and affection which knit us as one throughout our lives do not unravel in death." Not only are they not unraveled, but they are made permanently durable in the eternity of God.
Each day we decide what kind of death will crown our lives.
Here's your humble blogger, just over half of my life ago: