The last thing anyone would like to start a new year with is death. Unfortunately, by the second day of January, 2020, I had heard different death stories about a student that slumped and died while preparing for his exams in law school, a young 21 year old singer who just died from unknown causes and a family in Ontario that lost three children in a car crash. All sad stories reveal the transience of life and make me appreciate life for several more reasons.
One: I was once a student in law school who wrote bar exams, passed and graduated. I cannot imagine the trauma my parents would have gone through if they suddenly had to receive the tragic news that their only daughter died while preparing for her law school exams in Nigeria.
Two: I was once a 21 year old, full of life and promise with expectations from my family that I would graduate from school and start my life as a career person, become a home maker and make impact in my society.
Three: I have three children and stayed in Ontario with them for about a month. We drove to different places in Toronto a couple of times together. Any one of us or even all of us could have been the victims of a car crash. For every one of the stories above, I can relate on some level.
It’s so sad when people full of lives suddenly die. I know my Bible has given me several verses to help me realize or understand that life is short and death is certain. Some of the verses that come to mind are; James 4:14, ‘Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.’ Psalm 144:4, ‘Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow’. Proverbs 27:1, ‘Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring’. The writer of Ecclesiastes says that there is a time for everything including a time to be born and a time to die. Finally, Psalm 90:12, ‘So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom’. Yet, it is still difficult to really comprehend the concept of death.
Whenever we hear about the passing of someone; whether unknown like those above or someone we know or care about, we question our mortality. For some others, they can begin to question immortality and wonder why someone so vibrant can just slip into eternity just like that!
Then like clockwork, lives move on. We continue with the same mundane things that fill the activities of our lives. ‘Get to work, take care of kids, fulfill responsibilities, eat and party etc. But for those closely hit by the deaths, it will never be the same for their families and loved ones.
Each day in this new year, let us continually appreciate God for life, value the relationships that we have been blessed with, live healthily (both physically and spiritually) and work towards achieving purpose. For life is short, and death is certain!
Happy New Year!