Wednesday, November 01, 2006

My Mission

I am a child of Seabury, and therefore I know that I have no mission, but rather seek to participate in God's mission.

But if I weren't, it would be my mission to convince people that NOTHING reverses, lessens, reduces, or protects us from the risk of death. Risk of death is 100% for all living things, barring Jesus' return in our lifetimes. Today's BBC News reports: "The scientists estimated resveratrol reduced the risk of death in the mice by about 31%, a point similar to the lifespan for the standard diet mice." Were I this person's editor, I would note that it ought to report that resveratrol reduced the risk of dying early, or that resveratrol can extend expected lifespan, or something of the sort. This was a running gag between my critical care supervisor and me when I did CPE, as he would often ask during spiritual care rounds,"Is this person dying?" and I would steadfastly claim that all of us were dying, but that I had not the power to predict time and place, before conceding that some looked nearer death than others. In this case, my position was perhaps a bit extreme. Nevertheless, I maintain that we need to remember just how little power we have to predict time of death for any person. People who look on the edge of death turn out not to die for weeks, months, or years; people who seem perfectly healthy get hit by cars, or shot, or drop dead of undetected heart problems, or whatever. Either way, we will all die. The Feasts of All Saints and All the Faithful Departed seem as good a time as any to remind ourselves of our own mortality and how little control we have over it.

1 comment:

Susie said...

A friend once quipped that "life is a terminal illness." I wish I could remember who that was.