The older I get, the more I marvel at life. And the more I value it.
Maybe that’s because I’m looking back at the nearly seventy years of my life that have already passed. No matter what, they are my personal history—events that cannot be changed, erased, or ignored. They are facts, not opinions—whether I remember them correctly or not—and they include the good, the bad, and the meaningless. Oh, and let’s not forget about the ridiculous.
That time-span is very, very finite even as it continues to expand one minute at a time. In the blink of an eye, “right now” becomes “just then.”
But I also value life because I’m looking forward to the remainder of my days, a portrait that’s still being painted, a book that’s still being written. The time I have left—maybe only hours or minutes—and the quality of that time are beyond my ability to predict. Or even to guess at.
What I can accomplish during my remaining time on earth is equally unknown. No matter how I hope and pray to be mentally alert to the very end and die peacefully in my sleep, the “information’s not available to the mortal man,” as Paul Simon once wrote and sang.
Life. Yes, I marvel at it. And I value it.
I used to think PETA, the animal rights group, was completely whacko. And I still do regarding most of their ideas. I’m not going to give up eating meat or start thinking that animals should have the same rights as people. That’s unbiblical.
God created the animals and placed them under man’s control. Even though Adam and Eve were apparently vegans until the first sin led to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, they and their descendants didn’t remain vegans for long.
Although God specified the kinds of meat that shouldn’t be eaten, He didn’t forbid eating meat completely. And who but their Creator has the right to set the example of treating animals as animals? God clothed Adam and Eve in animal skins after they sinned and realized they were naked.
Still, PETA has a point about the importance of creature lives.
I’ve recently had a problem with ants crawling up through the drain in the bathroom sink and walking around as if they owed the place. At one time I would’ve simply flushed them down the sink without a second thought.
I still rinse them away—who can stand having ants where they don’t belong?—but I no longer do it without thinking. Those tiny creatures are just as alive as I am, and death for them is just as real. How did God create such different creatures as humans and insects and give both of us life? For me, that’s just as much a mind blower as pondering the fact that plants and animals are both alive, but in such completely different ways.
I also used to feel neutral about abortion. So did a lot of other people who’ve come to recognize that life actually does begin at conception.
Yet it would seem that the abortion providers see their work as simply rinsing worthless ants down the drain. Why can’t they see the value of the lives they’re taking?
Hmm. I wonder how many members of PETA have had abortions. Or are they horrified at what’s being done to those tiny human “animals”?
I don’t know. Perhaps I don’t want to know.
But I’ll continue to be pro-life because I value life.
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