Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Living Without Clinging to Life

 

A short quote concluded my eulogy to my youngest sister. We gathered for her memorial service this past Saturday. The service opened with a silent reading of a series of verses, selected from those her husband found she had highlighted, or underlined, in her Bible over the years. The short quote was among them, unbeknownst to me. So, the same words I found, to summarize how she lived, were among the words she highlighted for herself.

“For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” — Philippians 1:21 (King James Version)

What do these words mean? This life really does matter, it is filled with meaning. Saint Paul, writing from a Roman prison, and knowing he will die at the hands of the Roman government, writes that living this life has importance to his Lord. So, he strove to conduct himself in a way that reflected and glorified the One he professed.

At the same time, the second half of the quote points to freedom from fear of death. Saint Paul looked forward to something far better than the best of this world. This freed him from compromising his beliefs, to escape Caesar’s deadly wrath.

Notice the balance within this quote. Living, the right way, has supreme value and dying is a door to even more. To live in that balance is to invest each moment with purpose, while being free from mortal fear that turns to clinging.

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  1. CB Toder aka Mama Toad Member
    CB Toder aka Mama Toad Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What joy and consolation to see that the words of the Lord spoke in her heart as well as yours. Truly He inspired you.

    I look forward to you introducing us in the next life, Lord may it be so, and having a chance to share with her how much your telling of her journey has meant to me personally. Or perhaps we won’t need introductions, we will know face-to-face. 

    • #1
    • August 21, 2018, at 2:47 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  2. PHCheese Member

    May God hold her in the hollow of his hand before the Devil knows she is gone. Sorry Clifford.

    • #2
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  3. JoelB Member

    Talk about a win-win situation. Your sister really seemed to understand that. Thank you for sharing this, Clifford.

    • #3
    • August 21, 2018, at 3:40 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  4. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    A touching story. I’ll admit it has always been hard for me to look at death as gain. I’ve always been more fond of certain verses from Ephesians 15:

    26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death

    54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

    55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”


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    • #4
    • August 21, 2018, at 11:35 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  5. RightAngles Member

    I’ve lost two sisters, so I’ve been there. Your quote is so comforting. When my ex grandfather-in-law was in his 80s on his deathbed, Grandma sat at his side holding his hand tightly. One day he looked up at her and asked her to let him go.

    • #5
    • August 22, 2018, at 2:35 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  6. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    I’ve lost two sisters, so I’ve been there. Your quote is so comforting. When my ex grandfather-in-law was in his 80s on his deathbed, Grandma sat at his side holding his hand tightly. One day he looked up at her and asked her to let him go.

    Thank you for pointing out that the ones holding on may likely be those being left behind. In my sister’s case, she had chosen her husband very carefully, so that their faiths were aligned, starting shortly after they met in a snowball fight at age 18.

    • #6
    • August 22, 2018, at 3:01 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Stad Thatcher

    May she reside with eternal bliss in Heaven . . .

    • #7
    • August 23, 2018, at 6:58 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. I. M. Fine Coolidge

    Beautifully expressed, deeply moving. Peace of Christ to you.

    • #8
    • August 23, 2018, at 7:44 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  9. Hypatia Inactive

    Made me cry.

    But the thought of any post-death, eternal consciousness is so frightening. 

    Peace and comfort to your family.

    • #9
    • August 23, 2018, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Hypatia (View Comment):
    But the thought of any post-death, eternal consciousness is so frightening.

    That is an interesting statement.

    • #10
    • August 23, 2018, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Nanda Panjandrum Inactive

    Prayers, @cliffordbrown! Eternal Rest in peace and joy for your sister; peace and consolation for you and yours – who wait in hope.

    • #11
    • August 25, 2018, at 1:04 PM PDT
    • 1 like

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