Listen to episode 275 of the Inspirational Living podcast: Death & Eternal Life | Spirituality Life Lessons. Edited and adapted from “On the Threshold” by Charles Wagner.
Spirituality Podcast Transcript: Welcome to the Inspirational Living podcast, brought to you with the kind financial support of listeners like you. Support our podcast for as little as 1 dollar a month. Learn more at LivingHour.org/patron. Thank you. Today’s reading was edited and adapted from On Life’s Threshold by Charles Wagner, published in 1905.
SOME people think it is better never to speak of death, or even consider it. I know parents who have tried to hide it from their children, carefully avoiding any encounter that might reveal it to them. This is one of those desperate feats that serve only to make more formidable what we are obliged to look at sometime in the face.
Death comes without any care on our part. Its manifestations are part of the daily spectacle of nature and of human society. We need not look at a corpse or a coffin to see it, for to note only an insect or animal falling lifeless is to have our attention directed to that mysterious Something called death.
Of course we should not spend our whole life watching for its end. That would be the worst way to prepare for it. Students who spend their school hours thinking about recess are poor workers, as are those employees occupied all day long in counting the minutes that separate them from the evening.
Like them, we lose our time when we spend it in fruitless contemplation of death. We are here to live — not to waste time in mournful preoccupations and to have our souls dulled by constant thoughts of the last hour.
It is not a bad idea, of course, to become familiar with the fact that we shall not stay forever on the earth, and I do not think it necessary to wait for old age to consider death. Indeed, it is well to consider it while we are young. The person who thinks at times that their days are numbered is disposed to utilize them better.
The thought of death makes us a better human being. We watch more scrupulously our conduct toward friends and family, thinking that perhaps we will not always have them with us.