Running from Life and Death

We should all strive to learn before we die, what we are running from, and to, and why.  James Thurber

In a Baghdad marketplace, there was a servant who bumped into death himself.  Terrified, the man dropped his purchases and ran home on foot.

When he arrived, he breathlessly begged his master, “Please, may I borrow your fastest horse? I met Death in the marketplace and he gestured to me like he was about to take me, so I ran here as fast as I could, I must escape from him!”

The master said, “Take my fastest steed, and perhaps you can outrun death tonight.  Flee to Sammara, for he will never find you there.”

The master then went to the marketplace, and when he saw Death, he asked, “Why did you threaten my poor servant when he was here earlier today?”

Death replied, “I wasn’t threatening him.  I was just shocked to see him.  You see, I was expecting to meet up with him tonight,  —  In Sammara.”

Courageous Dreaming – Alberto Villoldo, PH.D

I have just spent a week at the beach, and the stillness and beauty of the water and sky, really helped re-balance my energy and increase my gratefulness.

My 32yr old cousin has now been told he is terminal and has a 5% chance to live. This news is a sobering reminder that none of us can outrun our death.  Where and when Death meets us, is not for us to know, but we do have a choice how we live.

Fear of our death causes us to rush about here and there, doing whatever we can to outwit it, only to feel trapped and unfulfilled in life. Our excuses are rooted in our fears.  Our justification is that we don’t have enough money, resources or time.

When we understand deeply that we could face our death at any time, it is only then, we can have the courage, to truly live.

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43 thoughts on “Running from Life and Death

  1. It’s true, facing death teaches us to live each – oh haha, I was just about to write something, but saw that Val just wrote it! I was going to say exactly that. Loved the story. And I remember James Thurber as saying funny things. This is pretty profound. Nice post, Karen. Thank you.
    Mary

  2. I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. You make a good point–that no one of us knows when it’s our time to move on. And yet, to live with this knowledge all the time, day in and day out, is almost impossible, right? I wonder how differently we’d all live if we could . . .

    1. I certainly don’t remember it everyday Kay, but if I ever feel stressed or impatient about anything, I really try to remember what is important in this moment, and that always helps me have perspective. We would all live fully if we could.

  3. Once again you give me something I can take away and use in my day. Thank you Karen life can get challenging with my son’s anxiety and I feel drained and helpless, but when I use those words truly live in that moment it changes my perspective.

    1. Anxiety affects the whole family, so always make sure you are nurturing yourself so you have enough energy for him. Perspective has been a gift, it has really helped me in every situation. Thankyou Kath.

      1. And today we all went into town and road our bikes along the river pathway in Bega it definitely helps us all sleep better. Tomorrow they have karate and I get some writing time. Thats my week wrap up Karen hope your week is good.

  4. Karen,
    There is much wisdom in your words. Very valuable for anyone wishing to live life to its fullest.
    When we are born into this world we are sure of one thing from a physical standpoint; that one day we will die.
    But, two thousand years ago someone of two natures came into this world and by His death removed death’s sting for all mankind from all eternity.
    So, with that in the bank, live life well; in love, charity, humility, truth, justice and mercy. For those who do, the promise made on a cross will be fulfilled. That death is no more than the passing from a womb. As when we were born into this world and opened our eyes to the joy of seeing the loving face of our mother, we will close our eyes to this world only to open them again to the joy of seeing the loving face of God.
    -Alan

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