Reflection: In Bhutan, apparently, they have a saying: contemplating death five times a day brings happiness. For a year, I had an app on my phone – aptly called WeCroak – which would send me a notification (you guessed it) five times a day. At random intervals, my phone would buzz, and the little frog symbol would pop up, with a message: Don’t forget, you’re going to die.
It seems morbid, and certainly there is such a thing as being too preoccupied with death. Mostly, though, we live in a culture and moment where our tendencies run in the opposite direction – we medicalise and compartmentalise death, and everything conspires to distract us from the baseline reality that we will one day die.
If we fail to take into account that (subject to the Lord’s return) “death is the destiny of everyone”, that will warp our picture of life. Five times a day might be excessive, but the Teacher tells us that reflecting on the reality of death, while uncomfortable, is also wise.
Question: Do you think about death much? When did you last contemplate your own death? Was that helpful or unhelpful?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us neither to fear nor to ignore death. Remind us that this life is short and uncertain, and that you give us the gift of eternal life. May we face the future with courage, not because we are distracting ourselves from reality, but because you have conquered the grave. Amen.