Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Good Death – Howard Thurman

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life." (John 12:24-25)

This is from “A Good Death” from the book The Inward Journey by Howard Thurman, who is one of my “dead guy” mentors whom I read on a regular basis. I have always appreciated how Dr. Thurman expresses the deeper truths of the Christian life in ways that makes you stop and think beyond the moment. This particular quote touched my heart as I recently recognized my own need to once again re-focus setting my heart solely on God and living my life in the light of eternity.

A good death is made up of the same elements as a good life. A good life is what a man does with the details of living if he sees his life as an instrument, a deliberate instrument in the hands of Life, that transcends all boundaries and all horizons. It is this beyond dimension that saves the individual life from being swallowed by the tyranny of present needs, present hungers, and present threats. This is to put distance within the experience and to live the quality of the beyond even in the intensity of the present moment. . . It is the place where Life has been long since accepted and yielded to, where the private will has become infused with the Great Will, where the child of God realizes his Sonship. This is the knowledge that the son has of the Father and the Father of the son – this is to know God and to abide in Him forever.

If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 3:1-4)

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