Wednesday, March 7, 2018

God Said No

By A. Devia

Again and again
Men come in with birth and go out with death
One in three are followers of life
One in three are followers of death
And those just passing from life to death also number one in three.
But they all die in the end
  • Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching, Verse 50 (Translation by Johnathan Starr) 
Which one will you be?

I have a friend, who I've watched struggle with debilitating illness for years. The strength and optimism with which he relentlessly faces his life inspires me time and again. Frequently, he simply puts my own problems into perspective. When I see updates about what is happening in his life and the positive attitude he obviously works hard to maintain and portray, it encourages me to face my own hardships with strength, patience and optimism. He was faced with death, but God said "No, it's not your time yet," and he chose to follow life. One in three are followers of life. What will you choose today?

From the day I was born until the day, over 30 years later, when my Great Grandmother died, she was old. At least that's what I thought. When I was young I thought, oh, this is just what old people are like. She wore clothing and hair styles that were decades out of date. She complained about her health and watched a lot of TV. If she did anything else with her life, I never heard about it. She never talked about it. As I've watched my grandparents and parents age, as I've gotten older, I've realized that there isn't some magical age which you achieve and stop living. My Great Grandmother was just one of those people passing from life to death. Which will you be?

There once was a woman who woke in the morning and ate bland organic cereal that did not contain GMOs, artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, or any sort of flavor at all. She was afraid of the food supply so rarely ate anything enjoyable because she also couldn't afford the time and money it took to grow and prepare, or purchase the safe stuff. Then she slowly drove to work, afraid at every crossroad of a collision. When she made it to work, she stayed very late because she was afraid to say no, afraid she'd be fired. So she did the work of two people for the pay of one. At the end of the day, if the sun was still up, she'd stop her car by the ocean and look out at the view, but she never slipped off her shoes. She never wiggled her toes in the sand, for fear of litter that might cut her. She never splashed in the water for fear of chemicals that might have spilled from oil tanker once upon a time, out there, somewhere. Then she'd turn her car toward home, go to bed, and wake the next day to fearfully do it all again. She chose death, but guess what? They all died in the end. Are you so scared of death that you refuse to live?  Will you join us on the path of living life to the fullest? Will you make the most of today, tomorrow?   I believe that each good and positive thing we put out, does something, even if we can't always see it from where we're watching. Will you put something good and positive into the world?

My friend, the one who is ill, made a short film called, God Said No. I watched it when it came out. It inspired me then and it still does today. In it one of the characters says, "Life is precious, time is limited, and you don't want to waste it." I'm not going to waste mine. Regret is our biggest mistake. One in three will follow life. Will that be you?

The short film, God Said No, please check it out.

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