Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Life Really Worth Living - Part II

Remember my rant in the previous article? Now I need to clarify the other side of the coin. I'm not attacking the validity of these points.
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
I'm simply thinking about how many of us just blindly accept that we should thus aim to live out these points. The thing is, these death-bed wishes are all symptoms of thirst.

The problem is, the popular idea how to satisfy your thirst is the notion that "any kind of drink is fine, as long as it quenches your thirst." Thus we drink Sprite and quench the Spirit; we don't just drink Coke, we snort it; we merrily imbibe Absolut while jeering at Absolute truth... "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"

But as good ol' C.S. Lewis pointed out, "Thirst was made for water."

Living water, just as Jesus promised. Not Sprite, but the Spirit.

Thus, I think the transformed life in Christ should aim to say this on his deathbed:
1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to Jesus, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn't work so hard for myself, but to save more lives for Christ.
3. I wish I'd had the courage to express more care and concern for others.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends and told them about Jesus.
5. I wish that I had brought more happiness to others.

Will end with these powerful words of Oskar Schindler, a wealthy German industrialist who saved many Jewish lives during World War 2... and died penniless:
Oskar Schindler: I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don't know. If I'd just... I could have got more.

Itzhak Stern: Oskar, there are eleven hundred people who are alive because of you. Look at them.

Oskar Schindler: If I'd made more money... I threw away so much money. You have no idea. If I'd just...

Itzhak Stern: There will be generations because of what you did.

Oskar Schindler: I didn't do enough!

Itzhak Stern: You did so much.

[Schindler looks at his car]

Oskar Schindler: This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car? Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people.

[removing Nazi pin from lapel]

Oskar Schindler: This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this.

Oskar Schindler: I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! And I... I didn't!

1 comment:

laomao said...

Also, the 5 wishes themselves do not really indicate anything (I am going ahead here- I have not read the article). By themselves they are fine. They can also be expressed by a person who lives and understands one's life in view of eternity, except that the latter is not expressed.

And since it is derived from an article in the Straits Times, I would think it is not really appropriate to add obvious religious elements in.

It goes back to what I was on about in an earlier comment-what is unsaid does not mean that a person knows nothing of could be said. Not all things need to be said.

The little anecdote about Schindler also reveals a seldom realized truth. No matter what we do, at the end of our life, there is always room for regret. Somehow, the way it is presented suggest that Schindler himself is tormented by guilt. Strange. (I do not know much of his history)