The True Purpose of Death

There is one thing in which the philosophers are exactly right.  It is when we face the finality and finitude of our own, personal death that we are forced to reexamine our lives.

Perhaps that is the true purpose of death – to act as a witness to us that all is not well on planet earth and that all of our feeble attempts at meaning, purpose and significance must finally face the ultimate test of our own mortality.

Whether that drives us to seek out answers beyond ourselves or answers within ourselves depends on whether we see the problem as a lack of morality and knowledge or, first of all and more fundamentally, a flaw in our very natures due to a lack of a relationship with God that is at the heart of the human experience.  

It begins with a true, humble self-evaluation and awareness that the problem is within so the solution must come from without.

The problem is that being our own “god” is easier (although more dangerous in the long run) than letting our Creator be “God” over our lives.

If He is God, then we must follow Him.  He would have authority over our lives.  He created us and therefore we are proactively dependent on Him.

If we are “god,” then we can go where we like and do what we want and be a law unto ourselves within the social contract and legal limits – at least until we die.

At the end of the day, this is the fundamental problem of mankind.  Who is in charge and can He (or can I?) be trusted?

As Nietzsche has said, “Why must he rule and I serve?”  

Will we run our own lives, be an authority unto ourselves, or will we turn our lives over to our Creator in faith, trusting in His protection and providence, knowing that we were created to live a symbiotic, real, everyday existence together with Him, following His lead and trusting in His love and care for us.

At the end of the day, in this view, our meaning, purpose and significance is found in a renewed relationship with our Creator – a relationship (and personal existence) that even death cannot destroy.


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Tears of the Desert Warrior by Bert A. Amsing
Copyright © 2012 by vanKregten Publishers.  All rights reserved.

Footnotes and references included in the original manuscript.