How Would you Prefer to Die?
John D. Telgren

One thing we all have in common is that we will someday pass from this earth. Unless the Lord comes again in our lifetime, our bodies will wear out and eventually cease to function. For others, our lives will be cut short by an accident, sickness, or act of violence. This is something that affects all of us alike.

Someone recently told me of a survey that was done among some medical personnel about death. The survey asked them if they could choose how they would die, which way would they choose? To my surprise, the majority of them chose cancer. The reason they gave is that cancer allows them to see the end coming. As a result, they can make preparations for their death.

How would you answer that question? For me, the only answer has been that I do not want my death to drag on over a period of time. I would prefer it to be rather quick.

I told wife about the survey, knowing she had lost both of her parents to cancer. She said that would be the last way she would want to die if she had a choice. She had to live with cancer in her family for five years. She would rather her death be quick. When I mentioned the reason the medical students chose cancer, she said, "Why would I want to drag my death out? I've seen the toll it takes on you. If you live every day as if it were your last, then dying quickly wouldn't cause you any concern."

I don't know the backgrounds of those who answered the survey. Perhaps some were unbelievers. Then there may have been those who have given little thought to the destiny of their souls, much less whether they even had a soul. It would be interesting to see any correlation between the answers of the respondents and their faith.

I reflected on this some more, and in all honesty, at this point in my life, I would not want to die quickly. Not because I want to stay longer on this earth, but because of my family. I am worried about what will happen to them if I were suddenly gone. On the other hand, I know that God will take care of them if I were suddenly out of the picture. Some way, somehow, he will provide for them. So maybe this is a struggle of my faith.

Since we could leave this life at any moment, we should always be prepared. The Bible tells us that we should be "looking for" and even "hastening" the coming of the day of God (2 Pet 3:11-15)." We should live every day as if it might be our last. If so, we will be ready whether we die or the Lord comes again. Some would say that is a morbid preoccupation with death, but scripture calls it being "alert" and "sober." Men like Stephen in Acts 7 and the Apostle Paul in 2 Timothy welcomed death because they knew that in would bring them closer to God. For the loved ones left behind on the earth, God will take care of them.