Musing on Mortality

Last night after returning home from family dinner I quickly turned on the TV to catch the remaining live telecast of the National Day Rally (NDR).

That was when I learned the NDR was suspended because our PM had taken ill.

I was shocked, stunned and shaken. A host of unimaginable fears and foreboding thoughts flooded my mind. It did trigger a wave of prayers amongst my WhatsApp groups.

Thank God our PM Lee did not have a stroke but a “brief fainting spell” caused by “prolonged standing, heat and dehydration.”

When PM Lee returned on stage to resume his speech, it brought great reliefs to both audience and viewers like myself.

However as he talked about the need for leadership succession, he made a poignant remark that “Minister or not, all of us are mortal.”

The Bible gives us 3 pictures of our mortal life.

  1. The Swiftness

The Bible in the book of Job tells us the swiftness of life.

“Now my days are swifter than a runner” (Job 9:25)

“They pass by like swift ships” (Job 9:26a)

“Like an eagle swooping on its prey” (Job 9:26b)

“Oh, remember that my life is a breath!” (Job 7:7)

Such is the swiftness of our mortal life.

  1. The Uncertainty

The Bible tells us the uncertainty of life.

“For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away” (James 4:14).

“For who knows what is good for man in life, all the days of his vain life which he passes like a shadow?” (Ecclesiastes 6:12)

Who can lay hold of a shadow? Who can be so certain of life? Not even the rich fool who thought it certain, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry” (Luke 12:19)

Such is the uncertainty of our mortal life.

  1. The Changeability

The Bible also tells us the changeability of life.

“We spend our years as a tale that is told” (Psalm 90:9 KJV)

A tale is a story with twists and turns. Our mortal life is filled with unpredictable changes.

“Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell and make a profit; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow” (James 4:13).

Such is the changeability of our mortal life.

No doubt all of us are mortal yet we worship and serve an Immortal who is described as, “The Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation” (II Corinthians 1:3a-4)

If we have such a God, it doesn’t matter if our mortal life is swift, uncertain and changeable.


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