The threat of death abounds. Bioterror threatens us. As with the 2001 anthrax attack, the Department of Health and Human Services has identified repeated failure in proper securing bioterror agents.
Dr. Thomas Frieden (Director of Center for Disease Control and Prevention) warns of another alarming threat to our lives, “This country has only a narrow window of opportunity to act before it is too late to halt the superbug (Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceal or CRE). CRE kills half of all those it infects. No cure has been found. It has now spread to 42 states. With hands thrown up, M.D.’s at this time are advising us to simply wash our hands in the hope of avoiding this deadly bacteria.
North Korea and Iran are perfecting atomic warheads aimed at the U.S. and fueled by a furious hatred for all of us Americans. Their venom is added to the insatiable hatred for us that comes forth from many Arab, Palestinian and Muslim people.
Last month (Feb. 15, 2013, at 2:24 p.m.), a 150-foot asteroid named 2012 DA14 buzzed by all of us here on earth. If it had impacted our planet, the force would have been 180 times that of Hiroshima’s atomic bomb. Some 65 million years ago, an asteroid (six miles in diameter) impacted the earth (Yucatan Peninsula vicinity) with a most devastating blow, killing most all living things on earth including dinosaurs. In 1908, a 330-foot asteroid leveled an 825-square-mile expanse of forest in Siberia. From such flying space rocks we have no defense. (Could a Bunker Boring business be a hot enterprise?)
Further death threats come at us from many sources. Cancer here in the U.S. brings a death every minute. Here in the U.S., 500,000 die annually from heart attacks; 93 of us Americans die daily on our highways.
Admitting our vulnerability is a step toward wisdom. Regardless of securities in real estate, medical check-ups or bank accounts, it is a thin thread that holds each of us in our earthly life. Feeling we have a firm standing in this life is foolishly denying the truth; like sticking our head in the sand. Earth is a temporary and brief dwelling place. How sad it is that we are often found trying to amass this world’s goods and wealth as if a security; often wasting the best of our time and talent in life to attain what we cannot keep.
“What does it profit a person to gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? [Mk 8:30]
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of Heaven.” [Mk. 8:33]
May we honestly face life — seeing death as always lurking and eventually succeeding.
The Rev. John Burkhart Ph.D, is a retired Episcopal priest and professor of psychology
firstname.lastname@example.org blog at inspirationsandideas