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Thursday, December 12, 2019

Never comparing mortality

I'd told Wendell again that my greatest fear is leaving Zach without a mother, and Wendell said that I had two choices: • I could give Zach a mother who's constantly worried about leaving him motherless, or • I could give him a mother whose uncertain health makes her more acutely aware of the preciousness of their time together.

Which scares you less?” he'd asked rhetorically.

His question made me think of (terminally ill patient) Julie and how initially I'd hesitated when she asked if I would see her through her death. It wasn't just my inexperience that gave me pause, I realized later—it was that Julie would force me to face my own mortality, something I wasn't ready to do. Even after agreeing to her request, I'd been keeping myself safe in that relationship by never comparing my mortality to hers. After all, nobody has put a time limit on my lifespan in the same way.

But Julie had learned to live with who she was and what she had—which was, in essence, what I'd helped her to do and what we all need to do.

There's so much about our lives that remains unknown. I would have to cope with not knowing what my future held, manage my worry, and focus on living now. This couldn't be just a piece of advice I'd given Julie. It was time for me to take my own medicine.
Source: Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

What's interesting about the “Which scares you less?” question is fear is assumed. The question is of degree. To what extent is one willing to be fearful?

The truth is we all have a time limit on our lifespan. The maximum is 120 years. For most it's around 70 or 80. For everyone it is unknown to us, and for some our time is much shorter than these amounts. For my own biological father it was 28.6 years. For my maternal grandparents it was 95 and almost 95.

The greatest questions in life are not just who we are and what we have.

The greatest question for eternity is Who is God, and what is our relationship with Him like.

On the latter, do we have a reconciled relationship with God? This is not a question for which we should make up our own terms for making peace with God, but to find out what are His terms for us to make peace with Him. That's where Jesus comes in.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.
Source: Ephesians 2:13-16

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