This Holy Week, I can’t help but ponder on the shortness of life. After losing some of our loved ones (and dogs) during pandemic, the concept of ‘shortness of life’ began to feel very real to me. The truth of it is a hard pill to swallow, but it’s inescapable—someday, you and I will also go. In fact, the finite hours of the clock is a memento mori in itself. Attached to the truth of ‘transience,’ however, is the exciting prospect of endless life with the All-Loving God.
Today, I looked back on the years I’ve spent with my parents. In their lifetime, I’ve watched them do all-nighters reading stacks of paper under the desk light, speak for hours on different classroom platforms, resolve family conflicts, get health checkups, endure diseases, gulp down a handful of pills, get wrinkles, be usurped by white hair, go weak, and transcend the challenges of shedding time. Mama passed away at 68, and Papa will turn 65 this year despite his lumbar spondylosis. Their life was one hell of a ride, but I think what made it worth it is how they found the road to heaven along the way.
Through meditating on Papa’s pain and Mama’s deathbed, I have caught and recorded life lessons that I think mustn’t be ignored, especially by older people. Here, I made concise my long list by whittling them down to five:
- Older people, it’s okay to be wrong. Your age doesn’t guarantee that you’re better or perfect; wisdom makes you better, and eternal life makes you perfect. To admit fault is a sign of wisdom.
- Wilt (waning physical strength and fading physical beauty) is God’s way of humbling old people and preparing them for next life—a life that’s neither corporeal nor superficial. Instead of always trying to look good, do your best to be good.
- It is better to be concerned about whether you have loved enough than waste your time wondering if you have impressed enough people. The world might remember you for both, but heaven will only care about whether you have loved.
- You can fill your mind with all the knowledge of the world, but you can never know deep and lasting happiness with an empty soul.
- Go after your dreams, get rich, and if you’re lucky, indulge yourself in high praises, wide recognition, and people’s respect. But remember, the world’s top is already underneath your feet. If you want to reach the zenith, the highest, the peak that exceeds the greatest peak, aim for heaven.
May we all have a life-changing Holy Week!