If you had your choice, have you ever thought about how you would prefer to die? It may seem like a strange question, but it is one that is worth thinking about and answering.
photo by jaymethunt courtesy of Pixabay
For me, the most noble way to die is defending or protecting others. Jesus said in John 15, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” So the soldier, the policeman, the fireman, the teacher, the crossing guard, whoever dies trying to protect others, they die the most heroic death. We honor them for the nobility of their sacrifice.
On the other end of the scale is the inglorious death. A life lived selfishly without thought for others, one who lives solely for oneself. We all know people who have passed and no one missed them. They lived their lives in a total self-gratifying way. Surely none of us would want to pass that way.
There are a lot of ways in the middle of the scale to die. You can die doing something you love. I have known of a couple of young men who have died climbing mountains. The only consolation their families had was, “They died doing what they loved.” At best, it is little consolation when you see a young life cut off while in its prime.
I don’t think any of us wants to die because of our own foolish choices. No one wants to go to a bar and die on the way home because we were drunk. We don’t want to die from an overdose of drugs. We don’t want to die from lung cancer because we chose to smoke our entire lives. We don’t want to die because we were texting while driving.
When we truly think about how we would want to die, it should give us motivation about how we should live. If we want to die in service to others, we should prepare ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually so that we have the mindset we need if we are ever in that situation. It should make us want to make right choices so that we could add to the lives of others for the short while we are here on this earth.
If we look at our lives and see we are heading down a road of dissipation and addiction, we might want to take a day or two off of our drug of choice and really take stock of where we are. Do we need to get help to get sober or clean? There is no shame in admitting we need help. It is one of the bravest and most courageous things we can do.
Are we spending our entire lives solely trying to please ourselves? While it may feel good at the moment, in the end our selfishness will add only a hollow ring to our lives. Remember the question put to the man at a funeral, “How much did he leave behind?” The answer was and is always, “All of it.” We need to learn to share what we have with those less fortunate than ourselves. It will give our lives true meaning and purpose.
Let’s look at our lives and our lifestyles and see if we need to make any adjustments. After all, our lives are but a breath here, and we will soon be gone. So again I ask, “If you had your choice, how would you prefer to die?