“Remember that you must die”. This is the function of a recently developed *Web app that will send you five randomly-spaced text messages each day that focus on this timeless truth. (The developers of this app credit a famous Bhutanese folk saying that professes “to be a truly happy person, one must contemplate death five times daily.”)
Not-so-strangely, the creators of this app are serious about its importance in today’s society. Few other mindfulness-oriented Smartphone applications respond to this fact: Being aware of our own mortality can help us name each day of life as an opportunity. This app does that—simply, consistently and artfully respectful.
In the past few years I’ve attended many funerals and memorial services, heeded the omnipresence of death throughout the world, faced serious health problems and considered my own eventual demise. That thought pattern isn’t a downer or a threat, though. On the contrary, I find it freeing to admit my transience —especially because of the promise of resurrection made possible by Christ. As the end date for my life gets closer on the calendar, I can mark off any/every day before that unknown time as a marvelous opportunity. I can savor what happens now. I can cherish my past. I can increase hopeful longings and gratitude about my future. I can stop trying to forestall death by pretending to be young—spiffy jewelry, snazzy wardrobes and red convertibles come to mind—and I can creak around in this old body with satisfaction.
So, you can mark this entry as a gentle memento mori from me to you. Take what you read here as my encouragement to remember your vitality, too: Your energy; your undeserved blessings; your abilities to bless others and your fierce determination to fulfill God’s will with joy.
Your fullness of years….
*To see more about this application—unnamed here for several reasons—see https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/01/when-death-pings/546587/
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