With the front pages of major newspapers and news websites filled with photos and headlines which hint, whisper, and even promise certain doom, I have been thinking a lot about life, and what is most precious to me.
I think of Martin Luther, who when asked what he would do if the world would end tomorrow, answered, “I would plant a tree today.” I’ve always held a secret suspicion that this quote actually did more to prove Luther’s sheer madness than it did to demonstrate his great faith. But on the other hand, what would you do? I’ve asked myself that a lot over the past few days, more out of sheer interest in what the best answer is, than out of any great concern that this is a choice I will ever have to face.
I have decided that I would not plant a tree. I don’t see the reasoning behind that, if you were certain that the next day your efforts would be consumed in fire. But what would I do? What would you do?
As I said, I have also been thinking much of what things matter to me, and find that (of course) the two questions are very related. Though I don’t have any great comprehension of economy or of the repercussions of it’s failure, I do think that I could be certain of a few things.
The sky will still be blue. The October air will be heavy with it’s rich scent of autumn. My children will still learn to swing by pushing their legs forward, and pulling them back. Sand will always delight them, as it slips through their tiny fingers. Our goals in life will not even change, as we will still desire more than life itself, to see them walk with their Creator. These things are Liberty. These are, in fact, life.
Yesterday I read a headline announcing that an investment banker had taken his own life, and I am saddened, not so much by his choice to end his life, but because he chose to never even begin it. We’ve been through a depression before, as a nation. It’s not a reason to panic! My own great-grandmother was raised living in caves in Kentucky, and seemed to have a childhood filled to the brim with Life. Is our quality of life so closely tied to our pocketbook?
So, what would I do, if I knew the world were ending tomorrow? I suppose I would make coffee, gather my children and loved ones, sit in our cozy living room and play scrabble. Or maybe talk about the eternal experiences that we will soon be enjoying together.
What would you do?