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Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Year to Live

The other day Kathy and I were watching a program that dealt with terminal illness. Kathy asked me what I would do if I had one year to live—what would I do that I’ve always wanted to do? My answer came quickly—to do what I’m doing. Let the remaining year be pretty much like the last. Why don’t I want to go to new places, do new things, and meet new people? The answer lies in my believing, first of all, that God has called me to be where I am. The second explanation is that I am a firm believer in the universal character of human nature. I appreciate that anyone I meet can disclose to me the heart of humanity—there is no need to search for strangers, the distinguished few, or celebrities. The third explanation follows from the second—since human nature is essentially the same; the major differences in life reside in accouterments and trappings which can fluctuate with the wheel of fortune. The underlying principles for successfully coping with nature do not change. The fourth explanation derives from an appreciation that I am (and always have been) greatly blessed. To require that my last year be a year of prime rib rather than spaghetti would be seriously unappreciative of the many advantages I’ve enjoyed. Perhaps I should wish for my last year to be lived in a place that’s pure hell (I’m confident that such places and circumstances exist). This would lead me to die even more appreciative of my previous circumstances and simultaneously realize a degree of cosmic justice. No thank you. If I have one year to live, may it be in God’s abiding love and in these green pastures.

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