I’ve always known that I was going to die. When I was a teenager, my friends and I thought that we would all be dead by 30. We were not members of a cult or heavy drug-users. This was a period when, “Live fast, die young, leave a good-looking corpse” was a catch phrase for the young and wannabe-cool crowd.
I don’t want to die.
Ok. I get the caterpillar, cocoon, butterfly metaphor. We crawl, we die, we are re-born as something more beautiful and amazing. What if crawling seems better than the cocoon? What guarantees are there that I will come out of the cocoon as a butterfly? I have never seen any National Geographic photos of butterflies talking with caterpillars.
This life isn’t so bad, it’s actually great…for me. It is all I know, so I have decided that this is the best it can get. Sickness, death, disappointment and doubts are all just part of the confirmation of being alive, so I accept them. There are great things as well - births, amazing experiences, beauty and love. These must be the best there is to be. They are all that I have experienced.
Watching people die hurts, a lot. There is also a realization in watching- this will happen to me at some date not of my choice and not in a manner that I have chosen.
Why can’t I just keep on living? I am reasonably adjusted to the life I have. I am comfortable within the established highs and lows. Why do I have to die? Isn’t this all just Adam’s and Eve’s fault?
Actually, I do not believe God originally designed us to die. We started dying because of “User Error.” (Genesis 2:17, Genesis 3:22-24) That was the fall of man through the sin of pride by Adam and Eve. They did not accept the perfection of God’s gift of life in paradise. They sought to be more than human, more equal to God, (Genesis 3:4-5). I think I might be very like Adam and Eve. Every day that I do not rely on God, which would be every day, I am repeating their sin. I do not need to be chased out of heaven by a cherubim to understand I am not perfect and would not make it there any more than Adam and Eve. If you do not know the history of the flaming sword, Eden and cherubim, it’s in Genesis. Look it up if you are curious.
God wants us to come back to him since we left him. We chose to leave him when we did not follow his initial direction. He wants us back, but we have to make a new choice. We also have to be willing to sacrifice our own choices to his divine direction.
Mankind after Adam and Eve, including you and me, just keep blowing it. Our willfulness, (check all of the Old Testament for examples), showed just how far we were willing to run away from God.
God tried to provide a way that man could show his heart. He asked that they sacrifice in their hearts, through sacrificing those things they desired most, to show that God was more important than anything. Prophets came who declared the evilness of man. God wanted man’s true devotion, man’s heart, in order to reunite. Well, we wanted the cheap route. That’s a cop out. I want the cheap route. Collectively, I want a map to follow, not a true change of heart, in order to “win” heaven. (Jeremiah 6:20)
From a biblical perspective, resurrection - the restoring of life after death, comes from a belief in Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:21-22). His sacrifice is the creation of a new covenant that gives us the way back to the Father. God receives perfection as the sacrifice on behalf of us because we cannot create or deliver one.
Ok. That is great and I am in awe of this sacrifice because it shows God’s perfect love for us. At the same time it is a demonstration of how much he wants us to return to him. I still don’t want to die.
I watched my brother die. It sucked. He hated the pain, but he knew he was going home. Home was with God and Jesus. Death meant for him, even in his pain and sadness of not being with his family and friends, that he was going home. I did not want him to die. Selfish, yes. I was and still am selfishly desiring Tim to be here. His courage gives me courage. I am going home. He’ll be there and I am looking forward to that, a lot.
He died. I haven’t heard from him since.
I’ll talk about why he hasn’t talked to me since he died in a future post. I just know that once butterflies get their wings, they don’t look back. I don’t want the chrysalis part, the dying part, but I am looking forward to being a butterfly.
I don’t want to die. I do want to be with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and Tim. I do not receive all of that until I accept Jesus. That acceptance of Jesus means also that I have to follow him, even through death. It takes death to receive resurrection and through that death, with faith in him, is the gift of salvation. Even Jesus died, and I will add, in a very ugly and unfair way. He did that for me and then he showed what resurrection looks like. This gives me true hope. I really am looking forward to being a changed form, eternally with the Father. I will be like a butterfly who no longer needs to be trapped in a chrysalis. I will not mourn for being a caterpillar.