“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory” –W. Edward Deming. This is quite a damning statement that flies in the face of the blissfully ignorant and the stubbornly arrogant. This immediately has two dimensions for me: the physical and the spiritual. Let me explain.
Everyone must die sometime, right? Whilst this is correct, why would we hasten the timing of the event? And does it need to be gory? Yet, many of us are shooting straight for these outcomes via the way we choose to live. The way we live regarding our health or our safety very much determines how and when we’ll die. We have near-misses. (Remember the silly things we did in our youth?--I rest my case.) We don’t know when our luck’s going to run out, do we?
The truth is we take advantage of God’s grace every day when we ignore health symptoms and signs or take safety risks at home, on the roads and at work.
Everyone must die sometime, right? Physically, yes. But spiritually, we’ll live on. But, survival is still not mandatory. We need to be saved from ourselves and from the world, into the loving, reconciling, transforming arms of God. Survival beyond this fleeting life is not ‘a given.’
Bringing ‘Survival’ Back into View
So, what gives with ‘survival’ when death is inevitable? Well, in one sense survival is a temporary state; it’s a self-testimony regarding the respect we have for both ourselves, but ultimately our Creator; that we can be responsible (at least) to care for our bodies. But, in an altogether different sense, survival has permanence about it--in the spiritual realm.
Our spirit’s live on. But, whether they actually ‘survive’ or not is in question. I would not call reaching hell, ‘survival.’ That must be an eternal spiritually-living death. That would be the antithesis of survival. Who in their right mind would want to spend eternity in hell?
For my mind, we need to ensure we reconcile ourselves to the Creator on his terms and not our own. We need to relate rightly with God, and start to live the way he seeks for us to live; when we do this we’ll suddenly find tremendous alignment in surviving both physically and spiritually.
Only then will living healthily in both physical and spiritual contexts truly mean what it needs to mean.
Can there be a more urgent purpose for our lives?
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.