By Dr. John Ed Mathison
John Ed Mathison Leadership Ministries
How do you approach death? The answer to that question has a lot to do with how we approach life and enjoy it. Death is inevitable. Statistics show that the death rate is still 100%. It may come at an expected or unexpected time – but it does come. Here are some varied approaches to death.
An entrepreneur in China has installed headstones in his new graveyard with the names of people still alive – without their consent. It’s working. His plots in the cemetery are briskly selling for up to $16,000 a piece. He says, “The more affluent Chinese people become in this life, the more they are concerned with their final resting place on their journey into the next one.” That’s strange.
The Lehigh Valley Pennsylvanian IronPigs, the Phillies’ Triple A affiliate, hosted a Celebration of Life Night, which was described as a “once-in-a lifetime giveaway” in which one fan received a full funeral package, valued at nearly $10,000. This was based on an essay describing his or her ideal funeral service and why he or she “would eventually be deserving.” That’s really strange.
Prosecutors in Jackson, Michigan recently had to consider what to do with a woman who is a big NASCAR fan. She was arrested because they found that she had been keeping the body of a dead friend around for 18 months so that she could watch NASCAR races with him! That’s really, really strange.
In Cincinnati, Ohio, Lauren Hill is dying with brain cancer. She is a basketball player. She has recently learned that she has an inoperable, incurable type of brain cancer. It is called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). The doctors have given her a very limited time to live.
Her first college basketball game at Mount St. Joseph was moved from November 15, 2014 at Hiram College to Xavier’s Cintas Center this coming Sunday because of Lauren’s life expectancy and the fact that the Cintas Center seats 10,000 people. It was sold out in just a couple of hours! Sunday, Nov. 2, 10,000 people will see her play her first, and maybe only, college basketball game.
Lauren’s approach to death is described when she says, “I asked God what He wanted me to do. I didn’t know what He sent me here for. I wanted to know what He sent me here for. Whatever You sent me here for, God, I’m ready to do.” She said, “What keeps me going is remembering why I’m here.”
Lauren knows how to live and knows how to die. She says that she is committed to fulfilling the purpose for which God has placed her here in life. While many would consider her life an impossibly sad story, Lauren doesn’t choose to look at it that way. She sees it as an opportunity to serve God!
While taking a recent radiation treatment she listened to Katy Perry sing Roar. Lauren constantly sings the part of the song that says, “I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire. ‘Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me roar.”
I wish I could join 10,000 other people Sunday at the Cintas Center to see and hear Lauren roar. Lauren insists that you don’t have to live long to live triumphantly. She has lived more in 19 years than most people live in 90 years!
Lauren knows why God put her here, and that is why her life really counts. Fulfilling God’s purpose is the secret to life and death. That enables Lauren to Roar! That’s really, really, really strong!
Ready to roar?
John Ed’s blog posts appear each Thursday in For His Glory.
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