Many people look back at life and lament, “If I only knew then what I know now!”
But if you could know now what you will someday know then, would you be interested?
No doubt we all have an innate curiosity about the future, and with good reason. We will all have to live there someday.
But what about that aspect of our future that goes beyond living?
You know – To the dying part of things?
If you could know the date of your death, would you really want to know?
If so, the researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a tool that you might find handy.
Death Calculator Predicts Your Odds of Kicking the
A new web site claims to give the odds on you dying next year, or for whatever period you select, based on a few simple questions.
The site, DeathRiskRankings.com, is the brainchild of researchers and students at Carnegie Mellon University. It provides answers based on publicly available data from the United States and Europe, comparing mortality risks by gender, age, cause of death and geographic region. Put your info in, and it produces the probable causes of your demise and provides insight on the timing of that unfortunate event.
My personal review of this tool?
It’s parameters seem a little broad to provide much of a personalized insight into an actual forecasted “death day”.
But what if someday science could determine the exact time you or I check out of this life?
Would you want to know?
The fact is, most people probably wouldn’t.
Back in 1999, the post office came up with the idea to have a countdown to the new millennium clock in its offices.
But employees complained that instead of reminding them of the coming of a major New Year’s Eve celebration, the constant counting down of time instead reminded them of their own mortality – that the hours and minutes of their lives were constantly slipping away.
The clocks were eventually removed and morale increased.
If someone could tell you the moment of your death, would you want to know?
And if you did, what would you do with the information?
Interestingly, the Bible tells us that a healthy sense of the impermanence of this life can cause us to make the most of our time here.
As he neared the time when he would be executed on the Ostian Way outside of Rome, the apostle Paul wrote:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (II Timothy 4:6-8)
Paul didn’t see the looming moment of his death as something to be depressed about.
He saw beyond this life to the promise of a better life to come.
Let’s face it, if we put all our eggs in this world’s basket we are heading for a major fall.
As it has been observed, “The statistics on death are most impressive. One out of one people die.”
But when we understand that God has created us not just to be born, consume, reproduce and die, but to live beyond this life, it changes how we live in the here and now.
Among other things, we realize that what we do in this life really matters.
And the people we meet in this life are significant and eternal.
In essence, it doesn’t matter when we check out of this life. It matters what we do with the time we have before we check out of this life.
Because after this life, we will receive an ultimate “performance review” from the One Who gave us life.
No wonder a wise man who made the most of this life named Moses gave us this piece of lasting advice –
So teach us to number our days,
That we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)
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