I am condemned to die from the moment of my conception, of my birth, of my growth to manhood, of middle age and my senior years…the track is inevitable…like taxes, it’s a sure thing.
And in case I forget, I get to go through millions of deaths daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, always. From the fact that this particular second is now gone and will never come again, is never able to be relived, redone, re- chosen. It is this latter that stands before me, staring me in the face each moment of my life. Choose, choose, choose, choose. The doorways of choice, the narrow gate, the eye of the needle, the way of Obey, or the Broadway of the World, the neon-lit, enticing avenue of No, of Not-Obey, Of Me, stands before me each and every moment of my life. The path of the naked now, with no past, with no future, just the now forces my footsteps to the threshold of each door, each gate, each moment’s needle or Broadway that never sleeps…I must choose.
There are the deaths of my facades, my illusions of my super-ego-man-me. As each come tumbling down as they inevitably will, I mourn, I cry, if not aloud, then pine inside for the Never-never land of what could never be.
There is the death of reality all around me: Spring with its new growth turns into Summer with its luscious plethora. Then, with the first cold winds come the harbingers of another death, the sacrifice of the harvested crop, the portents of the falling leaves and the solemn white pale of death. No wonder the Japanese choose white for mourning.
And my pets come, love, live, purr, wag but inevitably grow cold and stare at me with the unsighted eyes of death. And my own youth and vitality gives way to arthritis, dementia, stroke, suffering…and death.
He did not have to face these deaths; He had a choice. Even if He wanted to save us from ourselves, He could have done it with the nod of the head, the blink of His eye, the flash of His will. But He chose to obey.
Even in the garden, the first garden, immediately as Eve’s choice was made, as her hand left her side and began its fateful journey to that branch, He said: “Enough. Yes. They cannot bear all the fatal consequences of the choice they are making. They do not know what it is to truly know, to experience in the depths of being, either good nor especially evil, the torrents of wickedness that they have unleashed on the world. The horror of what they had done, the remorse and regret, the all-consuming sense of guilt that will drown them, they cannot bear; they will be extinguished and relegated to the oblivion of hell for all eternity. They cannot physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually cope with the onslaught that is about to engulf them, overwhelm them, devastate them, kill them. I will stand in their stead. It is too much. I love them too much to let them perish.
“I will bear the brunt of their action. I will obey when they disobey. I will say Yes when they say, scream, taunt, rage their No.
“Will I ward off all consequences of their action? That is not justice, that is not fairness, that is not responsibility, that is not owning up to the consequences of their action. They must share in the suffering. I will mitigate but not obliterate the physical, mental, social, emotional, spiritual consequences of their actions. If they do not join me in this payment, they will not understand. They will not realize upon reflection what they have done. I will forgive them for they know not what they do…but they will come to understand, little by little, their role in the death of their God. Then, with help and grace, will they regret, repent, resolve to accept their lot, not as an undeserved hardship, but as a blessing, a sign of their having warranted but been saved from eternal damnation. And they will take up their cross and follow me. For my yoke is easy in comparison with the alternative, and my burden light.” Amen. Alleluia!!!