Friday, December 20, 2013
#354 / Adventure
I read with great sadness an article in yesterday's paper that reported on the death of Nathan Phillips, a seventeen-year old who lived in Aptos, California. Nathan's body was found in the surf last week, off Seacliff State Beach, and the Santa Cruz County Coroner's Office determined that the cause of Nathan's death was suicide.
When Nathan left home, he said he was going on "an adventure." It was this statement that made me most sad.
Whatever may await us after death (and with one of those "big birthdays" coming up I think about that frequently), I believe that a search for adventure, and meaning, and purpose in life cannot uncover any of these things if that search is directed to a "life after death." This is true whether such a search is carried out by an individual, like Nathan, or by someone who has been informed, like the jihadists are sometimes told, that the "rewards" of life are in the hereafter.
The real "adventure," given to us all, is to be alive in this world, a world we did not create ourselves. Within the world into which we are born, we have the ability, individually and together, to create another world entirely, a world of things, of art, of music. Of history.
I pray a blessing for Nathan, and for all those who have left this world. And I announce my gratitude for the blessed adventure of life itself.