Anger at Wasted Life

A funeral for a 47-year-old friend on Saturday. News this morning of the private airplane crash killing Dr. Myles Munroe. Munroe has such a huge impact on my thinking. One or more of his books are usually on my current reading stack, and have been since 1995.

Yesterday’s Psalm in my Scripture reading plan says,

“Show me, O LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life. You’ve made my days a mere handbreadth, the span of my years is as nothing before you. Each man’s life is but a breath” (Psalm 39).

After the funeral on Saturday, pervasive sadness moved into my soul. My friend treated something very precious as trivial.  I could not make any decisions for him. I was not a major force in his life, but I wonder how I could have been a more impacting voice.

I’m angry at the guy! Anger is mixed with the sadness surrounding my friend’s death—more accurately, his life. He wasted so much of his life. His huge talents were dwarfed only by the wounds that led to addictions and bad habits which he used as coping tools which were inadequate.

I cannot get away from memories of another funeral, another life thrown away and the words of another friend who deals each day with a severely challenged daughter. His anger drove his words. He would give his life that his daughter might have one and the body in front of him represented a life thrown away. Wasted opportunities, talents, family left behind in a selfish life of indulgent choices.

My anger is aimed at the refusal to “get it fixed!” The anger focuses on those who created the environment, the wounds, and the craziness.

Yesterday morning, I read the Psalm and joked with God that I had hoped for a better word. I feel corrected. Calculating words like brevity and waste, I am thinking how to fine-tune my aim.

I don’t remember who said it. The speaker was in Bible College chapel. His text was the words of Jesus in Mark 8:34-35. The preacher concluded with these words:

“Throw your life away with careful aim.”

©2014 D. Dean Benton

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