If I Should Die Before I Wake

Recently, a friend of mine gave an apt description of the relationship between the body and the spirit.  She said that, each morning, the physical man rises and the spirit man rises along with him.  That is, until one morning, the spirit man rises and the physical man does not.  Though I had not heard it termed that way before, the thought chimes with the growing concern of years.

We don’t live forever in the physical sense, but the spirit man, the spirit woman, never ceases to exist after inception.  This never-ending story makes us god-like, in a sense, though He is without beginning of days.  None of us knows the day physical life will cease, but, after going around the block a few times, we may sense we are dodging bullets.  Certain of my personal friends have passed this life.

Many children have learned the formula prayer associated with lying down before sailing off with Winkin, Blinkin and Nod.  Such learning tools are valuable and not only for the young.  Our skills progress from the rudimentary to the ornate and must begin somewhere.  We develop mechanisms in each area of life giving handles to complex issues, and the idea of committing the keeping of our souls to God is best begun early on. 

The training of a child, embraced or eschewed, is not forgotten.  The sense of mortality taught in gentle ways is not lost on the young.  It is when we are in the middle years that we become bullet-proof.  In the frenzy of child-raising and clock-watching associated with mid-life, I didn’t give a lot of thought to the passage of time.  I knew it was happening (even spoke about it), but it didn’t seem as real as it does today.  Now, I know that, one day, the spirit man will rise, and the physical man will not.

I’m fascinated by the things Scripture says happened at night.  While I am aware nighttime is half the day (relatively), it’s a part of the process many associate with inactivity.  If you’re a night-owl or work third shift, perceptions may differ, but the mass of men are not nocturnal.  Yet, we know cognitively that the dark hours are not wastrels though we not experience them in full.  Things are growing, hunting and building at night.  Biblically, the night is a time when God works.

Once a month or so, I pass a sleepless night.  They are coming more frequently as I age.  For a time, these were torturous for me.  However, a few years ago, I began to anticipate the insomnia.  Now, I’d still rather saw ‘em off than watch the shadows on the wall, but I have learned that the God of light is out there in the dark.  I read that He called a few folks from slumber to Himself.  It’s mostly quiet in my house at night, and you can hear a still, small voice.

I don’t know how much time I’ve got left, and the sense of limitation is growing on me.  It causes me to tremble, tremble.  My Bible tells me I can commit my soul to the faithful Creator.  Sometimes, I wonder which day will be my last or if I will bodily rise in the morning.

If my vessel slips earth bonds some eventide, I pray the Lord my soul to take.


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