Hamlet, Act III, Scene I
To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For Shakespeare, in Hamlet, the answer to life’s troubles would seem to be death, except for the unknown. Our fear of what’s on the “other” side makes us cowards and having become cowards, we rob ourselves of savoring our lives.
New International Version (NIV)
Peace and Hope
5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. 6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
The Apostle Paul, on the other hand, tells us that we do not need to fear what’s to come because we know what has happened. God, in His mercy, has reached out to us, even when we were His enemy and offered us eternal life through Jesus. With this knowledge of His great love for us we can savor life in every situation. If we are blessed, then relish our blessings and be generous to others. If we suffer, then persevere knowing that in all things God loves us and works to produce spiritual gifts that are beyond measure.
Open our hearts and our minds to realize that You love us and are with us no matter what we face in this life. Strengthen our bodies and fortify our spirits that we rise upon the problems of this world and live our lives without fear, without dread. We are Your children and we are headed home. Home to an eternal existence with You.
Thank You, Lord. Amen.