Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Awareness vs Reality

MSNBC often gives me food for thought.  Their article about an awareness of death making the religious more devout did just that. “The findings show how differently people manage their thoughts of death.” The study gave a group specific tasks:
Each participant was tasked with writing either a brief essay about how they felt about their own death or a religiously neutral topic, such as loneliness or how to cope when plans go awry.
There was a link to another article, another study:
"The dance with death can be a delicate but potentially elegant stride toward living the good life," write American and Dutch researchers in a study published online April 5 in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Review.
There is a vast difference between an awareness of death and the reality of knowing death is inevitable. Death does come to all. How do we approach it? How do we prepare for it?

How about Hezekiah’s reaction in 2 Kings 20:1-2? That’s not fair, though, because he believed in the Lord. How about Naaman, a mighty warrior of Syria in 2 Kings 5? His religion is not mentioned at all. He didn’t want to follow God’s commands, but did so to rid himself of leprosy’s lingering death.

However, neither the study nor my tiny examples have a bearing on whether one should or should not believe there is a God, and whether or not that God is described in the Christian Bible.  I do believe God speaks to mankind today through the words written across millennia. I believe He is easily found by those who seek to know Him. Accepting what He offers is a decision faced by all of us.

Everyone who hears of Him can make their decision at any moment in their life, as the thieves in Luke:

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  (Luke 23:39-40 KJV)

One accepted what he learned about the man on the cross next to him:

And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. (Luke 23:42 KJV)

The thief didn’t expect an immediate change in his life.  He didn’t ask to be removed from his cross and he didn’t expect Jesus to come down from His. He left everything in Jesus’ hands. Jesus came through then, just as I expect Him to in my own future:

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:43 KJV)

It absolutely is not necessary that everyone agree with me.  I’m not trying to change any minds – but just getting people to think. Death does come to all of us. Some much younger than I am. Preparation for any trip is a good idea.  In this case, are we aware of the reality?

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