"WHEN YOUR TIME IS UP, IT'S UP"
Following the Victoria station bomb blast in the UK in July 2005, one old lady-witness who was interviewed about the incident said those golden words, and since then, it’s been a mantra for my sis and I.
I don’t know if those words give you comfort. But they give ME comfort hard as it is to believe.
You’ve heard of plane crashes with no survivor? When your time is up, it’s up
You’ve heard of plane crashes with a single survivor – When your time is not up, it’s not up
You’ve heard of men exhumed from the ground 10 days post earthquake – hungry, cold, crying but alive - When your time is not up, it’s not up
We either believe God has ultimate power over life and death or we don’t
We either believe that Christians should embrace death and an eternity with God or we don’t
We either believe that there is an appointed day to die or we don’t
We either believe that on that appointed day, a fly, a cup of water, bikes, rain, air plane can cause that death or we don’t
We either believe that sinful earth is passing away and Heaven is our ultimate home or we don’t
We either believe that all (money, fame, jobs, spouses, children, phone, car, house) is vanity or we don’t
We either live our life acknowledging that we can be called up at any point in time or we don't
Be it through natural/negligent/cruel/sophisticated actions of self/others/machines/nature.
I remember coming across this folktale and how it caused shivers to run down my spine; yeah, it supports my theory:
There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions.
In a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said: "Master, just now when I was in the market place I was jostled by a woman in the 'crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture; now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me."
The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went.
Then the merchant went down to the market place and he saw Death standing in the crowd and he went to Death and said: "Why did you make a threatening gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning?"
"That was not a threatening gesture," Death said, "It was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra."
Does this mean we should not mourn then or berate not the state of affairs of our airlines, the government, our emergency response, our health service, our corruption??? NOOOO.
But ultimately as Christians, we gotta believe the former or we are going to spend a lot of time questioning God.
MAY THE SOULS OF THE FAITHFULLY DEPARTED THROUGH THE MERCY OF GOD REST IN PEACE, AMEN.