Let's face it, THE reason anyone gets involved with Theology, Bibles, Churches, Torahs and Synagogues or Korans and Mosques is because just below the surface of EVERYONE is the fear and concerns about not living, but dying. We are the only sentient beings on the planet that know we will die sooner or later. Chewie my hilarious Shih Tzu has no sense or her yet to be announced passing so lives the carefree life of a dog unconcerned about attending church or holy day services or being absolutely sure of ending up in the absolutely true only Church of God under the only true leader on earth. Christianity has that kind of pressure behind it, at least in the Churches of God, Splits, Splinters and Slivers.
Part I: Meditations on a CemeteryI have always wanted, when I die, to be cremated rather than buried. The living, not the dead, are the ones who have need of the space and resources that would otherwise be used for a burial ground. On the other hand, if there are to be graveyards, this is how they should be – a good place to be at peace, to be alone with one’s thoughts, and to remember. They are, after all, for the sake of the living and not the deceased.It is a warm, peaceful summer afternoon. Serried rows of headstones rise from the expansive green lawns, interspersed with flowers and hedges; great trees shade the graves at their feet in musty reddish-green and cool dappled gold. Other than the soft chirping of crickets in the grass and the gentle rustle of the wind, drowsy in the late afternoon sun, it is still and silent, creating the impression that this is a place separate from the world.Most of the graves are plain white headstones engraved with the names of those who lie buried there. Some are polished granite or marble markers, the letters carved in them as sharp as if chiseled yesterday, while others are softer limestone, their inscriptions weathered and dimmed by time. Among the headstones is the occasional tall white mausoleum; some are freestanding, their sides clad in ivy, while others are built into hillsides. Some of the older graves are covered in beds of moss, while a few – I notice one or two – are freshly dug, plots of raw earth in the peaceful green. Where the land rolls, worn stone steps lead up from the winding main path to enable visitors to walk among the gravestones.Small, colorful flags ripple in the wind at the head of each veteran’s grave. I note in amazement how many there are, and I am reminded that blood is the eternal price of liberty. While most other people have engraved headstones, many of the veterans have only small, flat metal plaques set into the earth, paid for, I presume, by the government for their service. It seems strange, and yet somehow fitting, that they should have such humble memorials.In this place, with thoughts of transience uppermost on my mind, I inevitably reflect on the words of others who once pondered the same things. At such times, I think of the question posed by a long-ago psalmist – “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” – or the Buddhist who meditated on the crematory smoke arising from Toribeyama. Walking through a cemetery, one is forcefully reminded, above all else, of the fragility of human life.We tend to take for granted that our lives will continue indefinitely; rarely do we think about how we all – you yourself, everyone you know, everyone you love or care about – will grow old and, one day, will die. Through familiarity, we begin to believe the people, places and situations that surround us to be permanent. It is a natural and human tendency, and a habit difficult to break – difficult, that is, unless one is confronted inescapably with the truth of our own mortality. A quiet walk in a cemetery will accomplish that....It is rather long so you can find the rest of it here: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/daylightatheism/essays/stardust/
Certainly better by far than the long winded and self serving sermons of a Ron Weinland-Dave Pack or Gerald Flurry. These men are also stardust but currently with excessive amounts of hot air and baloney mixed in my humble and yet experienced opinion.