ARLINGTON, Va, October 10, 2011 — Once in a while we need to consider where we are headed. Let’s say for the sake of discussion, that all those who read this column as well as the fellow writing it, are lucky enough to live to a hundred. This may seem a long time, yet even if he or she does live to the century mark, anyone presently over fifty years old is still already over half-way done with life.
From the moment of birth we are simply racing toward that moment when our lives in this world will, gradually or suddenly, end. We will finish. So to spend a bit of time considering death is not morbid; it is realistic.
Is the certainty of dying something that should cause worry or terror? Not at all. For one thing, the major faiths all teach that after this life we enter a new life. If one believes that all these faiths are, albeit imperfectly, expressions of God’s divine inspiration, then the fact that they all teach of the continuance of life should suggest that there is truth in the idea.
Moreover, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence for life after death. The website guidepostsmag.com presents wonderful testimonies from people who tell of experiences that suggest the reality of a world of spirit. The highly respected psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross collected hundreds of case studies of patients who reported near-death experiences that give very persuasive evidence of the continuance of life. She includes descriptions of many of these experiences in her world-famous book, On Death and Dying.
Reverend Moon likes to speak of there being three stages to life. The first stage is the nine months a person lives in his or her mother’s womb. To the fetus, life after the womb is unimaginable. The fetus has not the slightest idea that there exists a life beyond the self-contained world that surrounds it in the womb.
Of course after birth, the newborn baby begins the second stage, a life of perhaps 70 to a hundred years. In this second stage one will encounter challenges, disappointments, victories, love and hopefully, a good measure of happiness.
Yet although it is sometimes difficult for those of us in this world to imagine it, there is a third stage, life in the eternal spiritual world. One is meant, having lived well and within God’s grace, to enter the realm of eternal life, embraced in God’s love.
One of the best ways to prepare for this final stage of life is to learn to love during this life we now lead. Preparing well has little to do with believing the right doctrine, as if that alone were a kind of ticket. It has a great deal to do with developing qualities such as patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, sacrifice, gratitude and faith. To state the obvious, this is very hard to do!
Nevertheless it is possible. Those who manage to live this way seem to work very hard at it, and to continually ask Heaven’s guidance and assistance. May we be able to learn from them!
“The moment we enter the spirit world should be a time that we enter a world of joy and victory with the fruits born of our lives on earth. It is a time for those of us remaining on earth to send off the departed with joy.” – Reverend Moon
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