Monday, November 9, 2015

What if you thought you were going to die?

I recently had an odd, and very educational, experience.  I endeavor to stay attuned to G^d, and I strive to hear His voice.  About 3 or 4 weeks before my recent trip to Costa Rica I thought I heard G^d telling me quite clearly that my death was imminent.  I understood that I would NOT be returning from CR.

As Samuel Johnson famously said it, ""Nothing concentrates the mind like the knowledge that one will be hanged in the morning." Whereas I was not expecting to be hung, nevertheless I did feel fairly certain that my days on earth were numbered, and that number was remarkably small.

So, the first question is, what to change?  Well Brenda and I had already purchased: a burial insurance policy, a burial plot, a tombstone- suitably engraved.  I had already, a few months back written out my funeral service.  We updated our wills last summer. I updated my financial info for Brenda.  I told the kids how proud I was of them, and advised them that should something untoward happen to me, they should take care of their Ma.

I debated about taking out one of those "no physical required" term life insurance policies, but didn't think that would be fair, nor worth the trouble of investigating my death so soon after making only one payment.

After some consideration I decided NOT to change anything I was doing.  I was serving G^d as best I knew how, and couldn't see ways to change.  I recalled Paul's words, "For me to live is Christ, to die is gain."  I had NO serious thoughts of changing my trip- if my number was up, I'd rather die in Costa Rica doing something worth while than die pedaling my bike home from work.  But I did buy some trip insurance- so they'd pay to ship my body back to AL.

I kissed Brenda goodbye and told her how much I loved her.  I took and deep breath and headed out.  The trip had some risky aspects.  I would be traveling alone. I would be in planes, taxis, boats and busses.  In the jungle, I'd be a long way from modernity at times.  I wondered if I would drown, which could make my body more difficult to recover.  The rivers there have alligators!

I traveled with a certain peace and resolve.  Let's see how this death stuff will play out.  I gave my first two talks at Universidad de Costa Rica, and was happy that I had met my commitments.  I headed out for the dangers of the jungle.  There, after some waiting, and some more waiting, I hooked up with my jungle colleagues.  We headed down a long, rough, and new gravel road for 2 hours.  Then crossed the river.

And... let's save the rest for the next post.


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