How does one intend to leave this world, to throw the mortal coil aside, as they say?
As an infirm man, having difficulties caring for oneself? Utterly broken down and bereft of much value as a functioning human entity?
Or as a man still up to the manifold challenges with the arduous tasks of living? With plenty of value and usefulness as a human being. A productive and contributing member of society, rather than a burden. With still a storehouse of value to offer, and still able to do good.
When one trades a temporal thing for another, do we bring a completely rundown thing with the earnest hope of getting something with incomparable value in return? Or do we present something that is still essentially valuable and desirable? And thus be somewhat worthy of the trade.
I do believe we like to bring to the table something of value in exchange. A still serviceable human life in exchange for eternity.
Not an almost moribund being with only a slight glimmer of life left, breathing hard and grudgingly desiring release from the onerous vicissitudes of simply living. Where nothing much else is left to live for. Where continued living itself has become the burden.
Thus, taking the role of a smart and logical negotiator of our destiny, we ask ourselves this question when we consider our demise.
I say let us bring before the Lord a life still filled with promises and hope, and workable usefulness, in exchange for the incomparable life of eternity. In other words, value for value. Temporal value for eternal value.
The value of human life is derived mainly in its sense of integrity and purpose. And yes, in its capacity to partake of temporal pleasures and worldly enjoyment. All human life is assigned similar value, differentiated and categorized only by the purposes for which it is lived.
If the human life is simply a hollow shell of what it was before, then it has very greatly diminished temporal value.
While all this may seem logical and understandable, others could opine that the analysis is not tenable.
The human life that is being traded for eternity is not the physical entity one sees, one that has been ravaged by time and elements. It is what that shell of a life represents. The spiritual treasures it has accumulated and stored during the sojourn we call life.
While the life may be spent, the treasures gathered endure and hold value. And that is what will be measured in the momentous barter exchange to be made, in the journey from time to eternity.