If I am to go to Heaven when I die, and if Heaven is the incredibly wonderful place as described in the Bible, shouldn’t I be looking forward to it? Should I therefore not look forward to my own death? I am not depressed or even sad. However, it seems that the ultimate exercise in faith is to not fear death. From what I’ve read about near-death experiences, most of them say they wanted to stay where they were. And they hadn’t even seen their new crib yet! Again I note, I do not in any way intend to hasten my own day of reckoning, but from a philosophical point of view, perhaps I would do well to follow the old saying, “live each day as if it were your last”.
Thankfully, there seems to be something at work in us that prevents us from killing ourselves upon making this realization. Is it doubt? That implies a lack of faith, which I’m trying to increase here. Maybe it’s just survival instinct, God made us this way.
Would I not do everything in my power to defend and preserve the lives of my own children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, relatives, etc? If I were to come upon a man having a heart attack, would I not do anything I can to save him? I would certainly take a bullet for my kid and I sure as hell wouldn’t just walk past a heart-attack victim and wish him all the best in the afterlife.
Having such an instinct to survive is necessary to preserve and perpetuate the human race. It would be very abnormal for any animal to not attempt to preserve it’s own life and the lives of its offspring. It’s all about being fruitful and multiplying.
Still, knowing that I have something to look forward to when I die allows me to fear growing old a little less.
While death will hopefully not come today, it WILL EVENTUALLY come. If I’m lucky enough to get advance warning (something like cancer vs. a car accident), I hope I can take comfort in knowing that the Lord has my name written in the Book of Life and I haven’t a thing to worry about whether I’m cured or not. In fact, taking on such an attitude now while I’m healthy might even help me live longer as such an attitude is surely to lead to a reduction in stress. Why worry about anything here when I’m only here temporarily?
I have never had a life-threatening illness or accident but when I do, this philosophy will most surely be tested. I hope to pass that test when it comes. Meanwhile, I’m going to continue trying to learn more about God and the afterlife so I can look forward to meeting Him face-to-face all the more.