The following is an excerpt from Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance by Donald Miller
Time is like thin ice. Our days are spent living like ants in a mound, collecting our substance to survive the winter; to retire in comfortable plaid pants, blue socks, and golf shoes. All the while, the ice is melting, thin and slick. We don’t notice it until struck with tragedy. We or a friend are mangled in a car wreck, and we reflect on how fragile the whole thing is. Our wives and our children become beautiful again. Our priorities change as we realize we are temporary beings. It is with this in mind that Solomon writes his book. Here is where aged couples renew their vows.
But not all of us are granted such severe mercy. Death is a difficult thing to process when no hint of it is at hand. We may never hear the ice crack. Mark Twain was right in assessing that the two elements of success are determination and ignorance. Success being the six-figure salary and ignorance being a blindness to its temporal capacity. Beyond the gravity binding us, our souls travel alone. We ascend without anchors of material possessions. We ascend empty-handed; our shells, neatly dressed in pressed suits, set snugly into caskets. The graves are all silent. The caskets are vacant. Stalin has no more wisdom for us. Nietzche is preserved in books, having forgotten to lift his casket lid and tell us he was right. Muhammad gives us the slip. So does Buddha. It is Christ alone who defeats the grave. He came back from death. Nothing left in the tomb but echoes and cobwebs. And so we do well to listen to Him with the ears of dying men.