Question to Consider: What will the world be like after I’m gone?
A History Channel program would showdetails of the likely events on earth if humans were to disappear suddenly. The program starts with the lives of the surviving animals and plants. It moves on to the breakdown of power plants and water supplies and the deterioration of homes and businesses. Animals initially invade abandoned homes for food and shelter, but they soon go feral, becoming wild animals in their new ecology. The program extends our imagination a few hundred years into the future when very few traces of human activity would remain.
I somehow feel at peace when I think of the world after my death. I’m comforted to imagine the world going on without me, utterly out of my control and beyond any responsibility of mine. I have foreboding about the world my children and grandchildren will inherit, but I can’t control the shape of that world, and I have only limited influence over how my children and grandchildren will prepare to live in it. The future is in God’s hands, and that seems especially clear to me when I try to peer fifty or a hundred years ahead.
A famous book of meditations begins with the line, “It’s not about you.” That was the most powerful line in the entire book, I thought. This experience of life isn’t about you or me but about a much larger body of life. Our lives are important to God and us, but the world does not revolve around our desires, hopes, successes, disappointments, and tragedies.
The world moves forward on an unknowable path, guided by the intentions of an all-knowing God. We are privileged to be part of that unfolding of the universe, but we will soon enough leave the part of it we have known. We Christians believe we see only a small part of the known universe here on the earth. I firmly believe there is another universe in another dimension beyond the veil of death.
It has been said that death may end a marriage, but it doesn’t end the relationship. I’m sure you know, without me telling you, that our hearts and minds are still bonded to our wives even though they are gone. We still see much of life in the light of our experiences with them.
We widow-men have drunk deeply from the fountains of life and love. We have seen both life and death, and we are in some ways wiser than most people around us. Most of us have a few more years to complete our callings on earth. We still have plans and desires as we move beyond the lives we had before our wives died. My prayer is that you will be healed of your grief and endowed with the gifts of wisdom and peace as you go from your time of grief to times of joy.
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