A Good Day to Die

worfThere’s that old Klingon adage when they went into battle “Today is a good day to die.” To a Klingon…okay, for those who don’t know, Klingons are an alien race from the TV series and movies of Star Trek. They are a warrior race known for being fierce in battle. Just think of them like Vikings of old with laser weapons and really cool sword like things called bat’leths. They are known for their strict warrior code and a strict sense of honor. And when they went into battle (which they seemed to have done a lot) they would utter “Today is a good day to die.” To die in battle was the greatest way of death. They were prepared for death. They were prepared to die.

I’m not. Well. Not totally. Okay, maybe a little. I got pretty close back in September/October when I had my run in with my thyroid. But even then I don’t think I was that close.

Dying is something that we just don’t like to think about or deal with. Dying is something that we don’t like. I’ve done 24 funeral since I’ve been here in Corsica. I’ve sat at the bedside of at least 20 of them while they were on their death bed. I saw the families cry and worry and pace and wring their hands. I’ve seen the look in the eyes of those about to pass into the great beyond knowing where they are going, ready to go home.

As I’ve mentioned before, there’s an art to dying. We don’t die well sometimes. We don’t want to die. It’s scary. It’s unknown.

And now you’re probably thinking I’m getting morbid. The last two posts on here are about death and dying. But honestly, that’s what I’ve experienced a lot of the last few years–death and dying. I’ve experienced the pain of others dealing with grief and not knowing how to handle it.

The vikings seemed to know how to handle it. Death was part of their lives. Death was part of their occupation. The Klingons seemed to know how to handle it. To die an honorable death was the greatest thing ever.

For me, to die in the arms of my savior is the most rewarding thing ever. But we can’t get past the death part. And it’s not the death part that gets us, it’s that sudden stop. The stop of the heart beating, the lungs breathing, the body shutting down. The stop of having control over ourselves.

But the verse I always go back to; the verse that sustains me and grants me the hope that i need; the verse that I preach at each funeral is this:

Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law. But thanks be to God! We have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:54-56

So, today is a good day to die. I’m ready. Because I know where I’m going. I’m ready because I know that it isn’t the end. For the Klingons and the vikings they had a vague idea of a place where there will be epic battles every day but no peace. I have a solid hope and promise. I know exactly where I’ll be. It won’t be a place of violence but of peace and rest. A place of wholeness. A place of perfection. A place where I will be whole and complete.

And so, today is a good day to die. But it is also a good day to live. To die is gain, but to live is Christ. Each day I can walk with him. Each day is another day living with him. So, no, there is no morbidness here. Just an acknowledgment of life itself. Each day is either a day living with my savior or a day in which I’ll be wiht my savior, I like those odds.

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