I don’t mean to sound morbid, but I’m sort of obsessed with not dying.
In the trailer for the upcoming Star Trek Beyond movie, there is an interesting conversation:
Mr. Spock proclaims, “The fear of death is illogical.”
Captain Kirk replies, “The fear of death is what keeps us alive.”
Both men make brilliant points; and together, they present a perfect paradox:
The fear of death is illogical and yet it keeps us alive.
Now at age 35, happily married with a wife and 2 kids, a “real house”, and a solid career, my life is clearly settled.
I’m no longer trying to figure my life out like I was back in 2001 when John Mayer’s “Why Georgia” was such a relatable song; as he ponders his “quarter-life crisis” proclaiming, “I wonder sometimes about the outcome of a still verdictless life… Am I living it right?”
It’s inevitable that at some point, I am going to die, so it’s truly illogical to allow myself to believe otherwise.
I assume that for the human race, that mystery of not knowing for sure what happens the moment we die only adds to the fear of dying. I don’t fear death itself, though.
The moment I die, I’ll immediately know for sure whether my life of faith in Jesus as the Son of God was the right call.
If I was wrong about Christianity, I guess the worst that could happen is I’ll learn that ultimately I was simply part of some elaborate Matrix scheme inside somebody else’s head.
My fear isn’t of death itself or what happens after I die; it’s about missing out on my future in this life. My actual main motivation for not dying is simple and predictable:
There are 3 people are greatly depend on me for the rest are their lives.
Granted, I have a life insurance policy in place to pay off the house if anything happens to me. But beyond finances, I am motivated by the desire to finish out this storyline that has been set in place.
What started as a romantic comedy back on October 5, 2006 when I met my wife, has now evolved into a family sitcom.
I see the world through the eyes of a writer. So I, as the protagonist, can’t let myself die. I can’t just disappear right when the story is really getting good.
So what exactly do I do each day in an effort not to die?
Well, before I answer that, I quickly accept the fact that if the Lord decides to take me at any point, He can and He will, as Job told God:
“A person’s days are determined; You have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.”
So I get it that I could randomly have a brain aneurysm and that would be the end of it.
But I instead focus on what I can control, not what I can’t.
For example, I refuse to talk on the phone while I’m driving. I always wear my seat belt.
Plus, I know that as an American man, I’m much more likely to die from preventable health issues than anything else.
Unless I’m really proactive on my end, as a stereotypical male, I am especially in the running to die of a heart attack, diabetes, stomach cancer, or prostate issues.
Therefore, I run. I mountain bike. I take walks throughout the day.
I obviously don’t smoke.
And while it’s not a popular decision or lifestyle, especially as a masculine American man, I have committed to my vegan (and therefore vegetarian and kosher) lifestyle for years now.
Yeah, I get it. I could totally be setting myself up to be the Mr. Play-It-Safe who Alanis Morrisette speaks about in her classic song, “Ironic.”
It’s not that I’m not trying to overwrite God’s predetermined number of days for me. Instead, I am trying to outsmart the more subtle and predictable ways that as a man, I might die too young.
Therefore, I try to make a point everyday not to die.
I can only do much. But I can do some.