Death, the Game of Numbers and the Death Eater.
As magnificent as we are, humans, if you boil it down, it’s all just numbers. We are all statistics, coming and going. One generation after another, striving, chasing and dying. Billions before us, billions with us and who knows, billions after us.
The distinguishing element between each of us is the efficiency of our lives. This makes us something more than just another number in the census of mankind. The efficiency of our lives can be given to grand things; conquer the known world, become emperor, build the world’s most successful company, ‘little’ things; raise kids, have a happy family, be a good friend, fight for a cause or nothing at all.
The choice of life’s efficiency is neither good or bad because it is our life to live. It effects though shape the lives of those who come after us.
The ‘after’ is what man has dreaded for ages. In the ‘after’, we are all reduced to memories and in time, fade away. It’s the fear of ‘after’ that led men to created The Pyramids, the Taj Mahal. Everyone wants to live forever. Everyone fears Death.
My first interaction with Death was in books I read as a kid (if you wonder why I’m weird, here it is). I tried to understand this entity that caused a shudder every time it was mentioned. In African homes, death is seldom mentioned and is even a taboo as people feel mentioning it, invites him in.
In my books, the characters would come face to face with death. Some would struggle like DiCaprio in Revenant to stay alive. Others would give up entirely and accept it. When he came, he needed no introduction. It wasn’t his problem if you were ready or not, King or slave, young or old, you were his for the taking. The Great Equaliser, he is called. In summary, Death is greater than us all.
Coming to this realisation, I saw no use dreading death, everyone gets it eventually. So, I decided on two things;
- Suicide wasn’t an option, it reduces the victim to a painful memory.
- Make peace with death, a pact per se. Realise his inevitability and understand his time will come and hoping my time won’t be as painful.
Still, what would it be to escape death? To be untouchable by it? I quizzed and puzzled yet I found not restful answer. If it’s all numbers game, then I should play to be a high number, build immortality projects that would keep me eternal beyond my physical limits. I set out with this an made good progress, imbuing my memory into as many people or things I could come in contact with and at the same time, finding ways to outlive death. It was a tedious process no doubt and human memory is fickle.
Then I read about someone who knew someone who escaped death. Huh? How? I needed to know more. I found his source material and read up on his last written words. His final Revelations. His words spoke of living life beyond a number. I searched further into this immortal’s life for clues and here’s what I found;
He started out looking like another number. Went to school, had a job, had friends and family, and turned up at weddings. He didn’t seem given to big things. But the efficiency of his life was given to ‘strange’ teaching about a Love-God. He spoke of the oneness with this God, how God’s Spirit was in him and how it enabled him. When people asked what to do to be more than a number, He said “Love God and love people.”
But people are thrash and God is invisible. So what then? the God-man said, “Hold my wine let me show you.” In his life, he loved the people he met and taught them to love others too. This rubs some people the wrong way and they decided to make him an example and kill him.
But to this God-man, Love was more than life, and it was a sacrifice he was willing to make. That Love made the impossible possible, He ate Death. The one true Death Eater.
He will swallow up death forever. -Isaiah 25:8a
By eating Death, He was more than Death. More than a number. He taught others to eat Death and overcome it and they, in turn, taught other people. He taught me as well. The first step is to believe in Him and His Love. The next step is to show that belief in His Love to others. It lay not in the magnitude of the immortality projects I did but in the love, His Love I shared. That is what makes me or anyone who believes in Him more than a number.