Are You Afraid to Live?

Sooner or later, we lose the people we love.

That’s a very uncomfortable thought, but it’s true. Which begs an important question: “How do we live in the shadow of absolute loss and still enjoy a happy, fulfilled life?”

I like what legendary college basketball coach John Wooden had to say about that idea. He was 99 years old when a reporter asked if he was afraid to die. Coach Wooden didn’t have to stop and ponder his answer. He immediately said, “Absolutely not. Nellie and I were married for 53 years, and I look forward to seeing her again.”

Coach Wooden lived each day with hope because he believed life transcended living and dying. His relationships carried forward after death such that he would see the people he loved again. For Coach, the grave wasn’t the end. It was a doorway to a greater reality, empowering him to look to the future with great hope.

It’s a sobering truth that we live in a broken world where suffering is unavoidable. Yet, we can still live with gratitude, purpose, and meaning if we anchor our lives in the idea that good really does overcome evil, and that Life really does overcome Death. Only that hope is transcendent enough for us to live each day with peace and joy.

Coach Wooden believed it. So did the apostle Peter, who said, “He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 3:4).

I believe it, too. Only through Christ do we have cause to enjoy a happy, fulfilled life while living in the shadow of absolute loss.

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