I think it worthwhile to review the “big questions” in life periodically. Partly because time moves on, and wisdom may drop from an apple tree. Mostly though, it’s good to check on the “big questions” right after a significant moment in life, perhaps even a challenge to life.
I have no reason to think that a brush with death would impart answers to life. In fact, I think it is mostly ironic that we remain clueless in the face of certainty. Still, maybe there is a small thing, maybe a slight gap. Something that Leonard Cohen sings about, “a crack, where the light gets in…”
The quick answer is that I haven’t been given the meaning of life, or even the purpose of my life. The Big Questions remain for some future time. But cracks have illuminated some things.
The first thing I think of is the love/care expressed. It is almost hard to receive. So many people have sent heart felt emotions, concerning my badly acting heart. There is a mystery there.
We interact at a given level that is direct/honest, but at some distance. Relationships are seen more healthy if somewhat cool. Otherwise, we seem “too involved”, needy, or downright cloying. And yet, this often isn’t honest. Certain people mean more in your life than you admit or talk openly about. It only comes forth when you are about to lose it.
I have redoubled my efforts to express my care, for those who I care about.
It’s funny, because it works both ways. Facing the abyss is often scary, but you can walk away with a new appreciation of loved ones, family and friends. Not because of what they have done for you, but because of who they are!
So, am I saying that a health crisis gives new vision? New vision is often the same objects, but seen from a different perspective.
This is an important distinction, because a different perspective can be easily lost. In a practical sense a new perspective can be gained by moving two steps to the left. You may gain some important insights, but if you step two steps back to the right they are no longer visible.
It is no wonder that the most common command in Scripture is “Remember!”.
It is just past Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of a new year, with a new heart, new perspectives, it is always the “right” time to start. You may never have the chance again.