As we journey through the vast terrains of life, a pilot emerges. The thing driving the ship. And one of the most popular choices is fear. Particularly, the fear of death. Not knowing what happens next bleeds into a general concern for what is around every corner. We’re afraid of rejection. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid of fear. The list is long and habit-forming.
One of the few guarantees in life is that it will one day end. That much we cannot avoid. There is no evading death. It is a natural part of life. But the inevitability of death does not have to destroy us.
If we allow fear to pilot our perspective, we will always be on edge. It might seem like our anxiety is inevitable, but it is a choice. Physical death is not a choice, but stunting life is. Stunting what might be, out of a dread of what is to come, is a choice.
We get to take ownership of our journey. We decide if fear or hope or love or apathy will pilot our adventure.
Life is too short to be afraid. Accepting the inevitability of death, ironically, can free us from fear. It is not about being freed from our circumstances but being activated in our choices.
Although there is not a way to avoid death, there is a way to defeat it. Because death’s power is not in the inevitable end of our mortal existence, but in its ability to rob us from life.
Jesus Himself did not avoid death. He was not afraid of its inevitability. He did not flee from it. Neither did He submit and allow death to have its way. Jesus confronted death with courage, intentionality, and purpose. He turned it on its heels by taking away its power.
The only way death wins is if it prevents life. The inevitability of death can cripple us. It can birth apathy. Fear drives us to inactivity. It pushes us into the corners.
On the other hand, the reality of death can actually be used as a tool. It can benefit, motivate, or even encourage us. It can remind us of the unique importance of this brief life and the power of the choices we make along the way.
Death is prowling, looking to steal our choices. Hoping to lull us to sleep with whispers of fear. But today is a new opportunity to make choices. A new chance to live this brief life as best we can, while we can.
We spend so much time trying to avoid death rather than trying to overcome it. We overcome death by living life. By taking away its power, refusing to allow fear to rule over us, define us, or disqualify us from the opportunity of today.