Tan: Discerning the brevity of life

Straight from my heart

LIFE is short is something all of us agree with. The death of basketball legend Kobe Bryant, his daughter and all the people aboard that chopper that went down makes all of us human beings once more.

I am not a basketball fan myself, but I have a son, Paul, who is a basketball fanatic. Kobe Bryant, known as the Black Mamba, is an icon to him, from childhood to adulthood. My love for Kobe is actually because of my son, I have virtually become a black mamba fan myself. I guess that happens...you like someone because the one you love likes that someone.

When I heard the news, I silently offered a prayer of comfort to the family of Kobe and for those all over the world who have been influenced by the life of Kobe, especially my boy. Let us spare time to grieve, reflect and learn to discern the message of the brevity of life.

I agree with those who feel that we have been robbed; at 41, life is still at its peak. If 41 is young, how about 13! The tragedy leaves us with no clear answers but “forces” us to ask the hard questions and helps us put greater value on relationships than on things, on life than death, making the present a daily preparation for eternity.

The brevity of life is articulated clearly by the Psalmist. In Psalm 39:4-5, “LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered-how fleeting my life is.” You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you, at best, each of us a breath”. The brevity of life leads us to redefine our PRIORITIES...what and who we put first affects the rest of life. “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it” Psalm 39:6. Discerning the brevity of life should lead us to a spiritual decision...“And so Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you” Psalm 39:7

Let us learn to grieve instead of interpreting this tragedy from the viewpoint of our biases. Let us learn to connect with the rest of the world who are grieving...finding comfort from each other and take a serious look on where our hope really lies. I prayerfully hope that we all can say “My only hope is in the LORD”. Good bye Black Mamba, welcome timely perspective. As I said, I write grieving because one way or the other, and in a very indirect way, Kobe, you touched my life because my son and many others were inspired by you.


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