Well, I’m sure it’s no longer news to the world that Steve Irwin, the world-renowned and wildly popular “Crocodile Hunter” died the other day when he was stung(?) by a stingray.
I guess in some ways it wasn’t really unexpected, given his penchant for daredevil hijinks with the world’s deadliest animals. But at the same time, it was a little sobering to be reminded that when it’s your time to go, well… it’s your time to go.
At least Irwin died doing what he loved. We can only hope to go out the same way.
One of the things that struck me most about Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life when I read it a few years ago is the way he reminds us of one of Christianity’s most fundamental tenets: that the grave is not really the end. While cynics point to this as Christianity’s perhaps most delusional fantasy, most Christians believe that in the great symphony of eternity, human life on earth as we know it is merely a short rehearsal. There’s something to look forward to after all of this is done. And that something is better than anything we can ever imagine.
But I don’t think Christians necessarily understand the magnitude of what that means.
Or rather, we get too bogged down in the minutiae of day-to-day life that we often forget the extended timeline we operate in.
Warren (2002) says that when you accept that there’s more to life than just the here and now, you start living differently. “Suddenly many activities, goals, and even problems that seemed so important will appear trivial, petty, and unworthy of your attention” (p. 37). It’s the same kind of re-prioritizing people who have had near-death experiences say they do when they’re so violently and unexpectedly reminded of their mortality.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing.
Imagine if we could focus on what’s really important in life rather than wasting our time on things that don’t matter in the long run.
They say we should live each day like it’s our last. I think that’s damn good advice.