“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born,
And a time to die…”
So begins the third chapter of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes. Such a statement isn’t revelation, only observation. As I type, the days grow shorter and the nights longer. The leaves on the trees have begun to shed their summery green and some are already tinged with the hue of autumn. The clock ticks, the earth rotates as it orbits the sun, another day is born only to die and give birth to another. The mystical dance of life and death goes on with every rhythmic second.
Passing is on my mind today. Today is the burial day of a young police officer killed here in my home state last week in the line of duty. By all accounts he was a fine young man, very much alive, trying only to serve others. I did not know him personally, but know several who did. And yesterday, I sat by the bedside of a friend soon to leave us. I was blessed to offer her a drink for comfort and to say a prayer with her and hold her hand. She drifted in and out of lucidity, and at times her eyes were focused on Something not of this place. Her husband and grown children were present, and Love sat with us, so real that the five physical senses could almost define it.
So passing is on my mind. Not in a spirit of depression, but only in the sense of how birth and death mark the boundary of our time here. I emphasize “here”. I am not certain at all they mark the boundary of our time. Not certain at all. In fact, I strongly suspect they are about as real as the imaginary boundaries we draw upon the face of the earth and call borders. That death is a passage not a passing. But that is a matter of faith, and we will save it for another day.
Today, I only wish to take note of that shadow on my horizon. It approaches, but I am not afraid. I am determined only to make the most of the days I have, be they many or few. To savor the love of wife and family and friends and give it back. To be a blessing where I have opportunity. To draw strength from the beauty around me. To live while I’m alive. Passing is on my mind, but living is in my heart.