“Nothing is important than THIS DAY!” – Goethe
HOW has 2018, which is about to come to a close, treated you thus far?
Has it been smooth sailing? Or has there been an unfair volume of challenges, glitches and bumps that tend to overwhelm and capsize that little boat you are navigating in the sea of life?
For many of us, the challenges tended to test the limits of human endurance. They say trouble only makes us stronger. They say God would only give you a load He knows you can carry. But sometimes, we wonder if God overestimates our ability to deal with suffering.
At the extreme end, troubles can break us. But if we’ve made it thus far, still standing albeit a little stooped and weary, this should be a testament and assurance that although the road ahead may pose even greater challenges to our exceedingly limited human abilities, we know that from a deep wellspring of faith and abiding trust in God’s mercy and love, we will continue to persevere and endure and in accordance with God’s will, live the full measure of our lives.
Perhaps, now is a good time to begin mulling about the end. It is a grim thought on cold and dreary November mornings, I admit, but it seems appropriate when taking stock of the year about to be filed away in some distant cosmic memory bank and we are given a new, clean slate in 2019.
Just as sure as the sun rises in the morning, the end will come. No one knows the day or the hour. It is a sobering thought to contemplate the end. But somehow, it sets our moral compass and values straight knowing for certain the end does come. It makes sense to plan for the inevitable.
Long ago, while driving one day on the freeway headed west in late afternoon while the summer sun in all its crimson splendor slowly sank in the horizon, I commented to my young daughter who was seated beside me that the sun will die too someday, like everything else.
Alarm showing in her face, she asked when it was going to happen and I smiled, patted her on the knee and said that it isn’t going to happen anytime soon, at least not in our lifetimes or the lifetimes of many generations yet to come. Then, I added, to tamp down her visible concern, the sun will still be there, maybe, for another five to nine billion years or so, nearly twice the length of time it took to form the solar system and all its planets in its present form, if the educated guess of scientists are to be believed.
We are fortunate that the sun belongs to a class of stars that slowly and steadily burns its fuel and holds the promise of a full life. And provided of course, that there is no large-sized meteor or cosmic debris careening off its track hurling itself helter-skelter onto earth as many believe happened some 65 million years ago, wiping off the dinosaurs and making the earth a new tabula rasa for a new thinking, feeling life form, called humans, to take shape.
We realize that our tomorrows have a finite number and each year-end, brings home that point that much more clearly. Alan Watts wrote perhaps to explain the results of man’s creative urges as a means to preserve itself, “It is because men know they will die that they have created the arts and sciences, the philosophies and religions.” What perhaps separates us from other life forms is that we become aware of our own mortality, our own inevitable ending and seeks, as a matter of self-preservation to extend it, not only by passing on genetic material to our own progeny but by the expression of thought.
Everything that exists — whether natural or man-made — has an end. Whether it is a car, a pacemaker embedded deep in one’s heart, a computer, a tree, an ant or anything else on earth, there is a definite end. Most men in developed, wealthy countries with better standards of living, better health-care programs and barring unforeseen circumstances like accidents or murder, have an average life expectancy of about 28,000 days.
In ideal conditions, the planned obsolescence for man is to reach the ripe old age of 115 years, at which time, death could only be caused by natural causes, all worn out body parts simply too old and emaciated to function any longer.
Should we at all care or worry about the end? Worry can only finish us off to an untimely end. Live as though each day were your last. To live in the moment is not only both art and science, it is a determined 24-hour mind-set you have to adopt out of your own free will. A few get it only after they have a clear brush with death. Sadly, many never get it at all.
Some wise anonymous soul once described how best to live one’s life very aptly in terms of money — something that is universally understood,
“Yesterday is a cancelled check.
Tomorrow is a promissory note.
Today is ready cash — USE IT.”
Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To read past articles, click on the link Online: http://issuu.com/asianjournaldigitaledition” http://issuu.com/asianjournaldigitaledition or you can do searches in the least invasive search engine duckduckgo or bing or yahoo even before agenda-driven google.