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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Life (06/15/06)

TITLE: Life, what a complex business
By David Ritchie


Life, what a complex business

“Well that’s been a very pleasant evening, and another day shoved in,” said the 83-year-old widow as she left the club for the night. Her husband had long since died and her life had been well lived, she was simply biding her time filling in the hours. On arrival home from work next day signs of life were everywhere. Books and toys were strewn on the floor. Trainers and jackets lay where they had been taken off, a maze of felt pens and half coloured in pictures told me that in the next room were at least a five year old and a two year old with a very happy grandmother. In grannies house life was lived to the max, things her own children were never permitted to do now were the norm. But life’s like that, there are phases and changes that come with each phase.

At work a debate had gone on about one who had had enough of life and the implications of their ‘Do not resuscitate’ request in their notes. On television the newscaster was telling of a person flying to another country to end their life due to their relaxed laws on euthanasia. This person said they had endured enough pain and indignity and with a worsening prognosis had decided to end her life to be free of the pain and indignity.

An old friend who has now left this life and is presently enjoying life in that place God has prepared for those who love him, used to pray for ‘All those bound up with us in the bundle of life’ and what a bundle that is. Someone once said that life is like a play where each actor dons a different cap for each role. I have a cap as a husband, and a different one for each of the roles of father, grandfather and friend. At work I don several other caps as in a single day I don the cap of tutor or encourager as I induct new recruits into the organisation. Later I don more caps as I may be conducting an investigation or presenting a case at a disciplinary hearing. I need the cap of a role model as I lead my team, or the cap of an employee as I meet my masters. Another cap is that of an entrepreneur as I sit around the table with the development team. Working out procedures requires a different cap as I work out the development plans with those at the sharp end.

Truly life is a complex business; what is life anyway? When does it start and when does it end? Does it start at conception or birth? Huge moral questions here. How about the end of life; is it when the artificial lung and pump is switched on or when the are switched off and silence fills the room as that eerie noise finally stops and every one waits for the reaction.

It was very clear with Adam as the bible says that God breathed breath into man and he became a living soul. There was only one man that God created in that way and I can find no categorical statement in the bible that states when life begins. Nor do I have a gauge to tell me when life ends. One of my best friends at the age of fifty walked into hospital around ten o’clock on a Monday morning and after being discharged lost consciousness in his own home at one o’clock never to open his eyes in this life again. At five ten that night I got a call to come to the hospital but by the time I arrived he was on an artificial lung and other machines kept his body functioning until Thursday. When did he die Monday or Thursday or some point in between? Who can tell when his spirit left his body and went to be with the God he faithfully served.

Many years earlier I walked around the hospital grounds with other relatives in the middle of the night. We had come out for a breath of fresh air as a twenty one year old nephew was being ‘kept alive’ by artificial means in a similar situation to the one above.

Last week we were absolutely shocked at the announcement that a forty two year old father of two and dean of a bible college had terminal cancer and only months to live apart from a miracle.

Life truly is a complex business; the trees I planted in my garden will still be living when I am gone. Most people acknowledge that this life will end for each one of us, but few accept that life as we know it will come to an end when God says time and rolls up the scroll. However for all who will accept it he has made provision for an entirely new life; eternal life, life without end in a place of glorious bliss. There will be no tears, sadness, crying, pain or death in that world without end that Jesus Christ God’s son died to present to the whosoever.

The greatest joys, achievements and the pleasure this life brings (and they are many), will be nothing by comparison to the joys awaiting in the new life God has prepared for us in that world without end. So enjoy life now as Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life and that more abundantly,” that is life here so live it to the max glorifying God in your actions. As you do you are preparing for that glorious day when faith will give place to sight and life takes on a totally different meaning.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 06/23/06
You made several very good points here! Maybe too many...I found it hard to follow. Your interesting vignettes will be more powerful if given a bit more focus. Thanks for this "complex" piece!
Shari Armstrong 06/23/06
You have a lot of good ideas here, but too many in one article. It started out to be about a grandma and then wandered to being about the author (a father, etc). If you could find a way to have a smoother transition between the sections, it would help. Good start :)
dub W06/26/06
Yeah, I agree with the above, probably a bit much for a short essay. It's a good start, and a place to grow from.