Stay on the Boat… March 13, 2012

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Jack and Rose–the two protagonists from the movie, Titanic. They find themselves in a bewildering dilemma–in the midst of a rising romance on a sinking ship. Running from deck to deck to escape ever-increasing calamaties, Jack stops momentarily and turns to a breathless Rose and says, “We need to stay on the boat as long as we can.”

It is a great line, filled with emotion and enormous sensibility. For after all, there is no escape for the two of them in the cold water. Rescue boats have not arrived, offering a “plank” of possibility for salvation, and understanding human nature, those who are already afloat in tenuous safety in the lifeboats were most certainly not going to be generously inclined to “scoot over.”

Stay on the boat.

It struck me last night when I heard somebody mention the name Kurt Cobain. It followed Whitney Houston being referred to several times. One newsman even made a reference to Tim Russert. All three are dead. All three achieved  notoriety, but now only exist as memories for their families and an occasional hint of appreciation by those who view their work or have benefitted from their craft.

It made me think about my friend, Rick. He passed away nearly five years ago. When he was alive he was a cranky sort, but had a few moments of endearing humor that made him passable. But now–nobody ever mentions him. In an odd sense, it’s as if Rick never lived.

Even though people glamorize death as a doorway to eternal life or they trivialize the more spiritual implications, presenting human life as little more than a jungle journey, those who are wise put on their thinking caps, clean out their hearts and come to some very mature realizations. When we are gone, we’re gone. And it’s good we’re gone, so that those who are here can go on. What will remain of us is what we have created, expressed, the love we’ve shared and pictures and videos that hauntingly remind those who still maintain earth space that we were once present among them.

So my best advice is to stay on the boat as long as you can.The waters of death are cold. Rescue and salvation may be on its way but is still secured only in the beckoning of our faith. I am appalled at a religious system that places little significance on our human life and its value, in deference to a heavenly one, which as far as I know, is neither guaranteed nor have we ever had anyone come back to confirm.

On the other hand, those humanists–or even agnostics and atheists–who reason that we are just flesh and blood and do not survive our own earthly casing, usually end up with a sense of cynicism and futility that makes them cease to be of much use to those around them and causes them to begrudgingly see the journey through to an end.

It is not for me, my friend. I am not going to be so supernaturally charged that I fail to enjoy the electricity of my present earthly connection.  But I also am not going to be so short-sighted as to contend that this mere passing of my lifespan needs to end the recognition of my efforts and terminate me in an urn or a grave.

It’s really simple. (1) Live strong, humorously and ever-changing. (2) Write notes, messages and have yourself videotaped as often as possible–to leave behind a documentary of your passage. (3) Believe with all your heart that no one is better than anyone else. (4) Keep the memory of another person alive who did things worthy of consideration–and therefore establish a needed precedent.

Suck in a great moment of clarity. Life is not short; it is not long. It is just available.

And those who have the sensibility to stay on the boat and dodge the calamities will gain the most immortality … both here and in the hereafter.

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Got a question for Jonathan? Or would you like to receive a personal weekly email? Just click my email address below and let me know what’s on your mind! jonathancring@gmail.com

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Below is the first chapter of Jonathan Richard Cring’s stunning novel entitled Preparing a Place for Myself—the story of a journey after death. It is a delicious blend of theology and science fiction that will inspire and entertain. I thought you might enjoy reading it. After you do, if you would like to read the book in its entirety, please click on the link below and go to our tour store. The book is being offered at the special price of $4.99 plus $3.99 shipping–a total of $8.98. Enjoy.

http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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