We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again.
2 Samuel 14:14
A few years back we visited the SS Great Britain, which sits in Bristol. As you wander through the decks you get a faint sense of how this elegant iron hulk would have teemed with life. Surgeons would have treated the sick, cooks somehow fed hundreds from a tiny kitchen, engines were stoked, and passengers thronged the decks, carefully separated by class. Children cried and couples courted while below decks horses snorted in their stables.
At times the weather was calm, and at times the storms rocked the great ship but still she steamed onwards. Day and night the great engines thudded, and the ship made relentless progress towards exotic shores as the passengers ate, slept and played cards.
Death remains a great taboo in our society, the unspoken future we all face. We may sit at ease, or rush around, but still that far shore draws nearer. To ignore something does not take it out of existence, and in the end you run out of sand in which to bury your head!
But whether we ignore death or not, the great engines continue to chug and bring us to that far port.
Yet contemplation of death is not a gloomy prospect. Life is put into perspective, and we gain a fresh insight into what is actually important. For the Christian death is door to greater glories, the far shore is beautiful indeed.