Black Wall!

29 01 2011

“Man is born with his hands clenched; he dies with them wide open. Entering life, he desires to grasp everything; leaving the world, all he possessed has slipped away.” -Charles Swindoll


There are two fixed points in our lives: birth and death. Death is especially unbendable.

In his book  ‘The Last Thing We Talk About‘, Joseph Bayly wrote:

This frustrates us , especially in a time  of scientific breakthrough and exploding knowledge, that we should be able to break  out of earth’s environment and yet be stopped cold  by death’s unyielding mystery.

An electroencephalogram may replace a mirror held before the mouth , autopsies may become sophisticated, cosmetic embalming may take the place of pennies on the eyelids and canvass shrouds, but death continues to confront us with its black wall. Everything changes; death is changeless.

We may postpone it, we may tame its violence, but death is still there waiting for us. Death always waits. The door of the hearse is never closed.

Dairy farmer and sales executive live in death’s shadow, with Nobel prize winner and prostitute, mother, infant, teen, athlete, triathlete, politician, beggar, actress, president and old man.  The hearse stands waiting for the surgeon who transplants a heart as well as the hopeful recipient, for the funeral director as well as the corpse he manipulates. Death spares none.

Ask most people about dying or heaven and you get amazing answers, especially from children. (Source: Good Housekeeping, March 1979)

Alan, age 7

“God doesn’t tell you when you are going to die because He wants it to be a big surprise.”

Aaron, age 8

“The hospital is the place where people go on their way to heaven.”

Raymond, age 10

“A good doctor can help you so you won’t die. A bad doctor sends you to heaven. ”

Stephanie, age 9

“Doctors help you so you won’t die until you pay all your bills.”

Marsha, age 9

“When you die, you don’t have to do homework  in heaven unless your teacher is there too.”

Kevin, age 10, is very courageous

“I’m not afraid to die because I’m a Boy Scout.”

Ralph, age 8

“When birds are ready to die they just fly to heaven.”


I shared all of these to commemorate the death of an Ultra-runner, co-hardcore and a triathlete. He will be remembered always.

I will end with this message from Arnold Toynbee…”Man alone has foreknowledge of his coming death and possessing this foreknowledge , has a chance , if he chooses to take it, of pondering over the strangeness of his destiny…(He) has at least a possibility of coping with it, since he is endowed  with the capacity to think about it in advance and…to face it and to deal with it in some way that is worthy of human dignity.”

Someday, all of us will face the ‘black wall’…the question is, “Are we ready?”

God be Praised!

Note: Due to a conflict in work schedule, I cannot attend the BDM test run today from km 102 to km 160, but I am with you in spirit in dedicating that 58k4J!

See you at the road.

“But it is appointed for men to die once and immediately the judgment.” -Hebrew 9:27



2 responses

29 01 2011

Hi Ronnie,
I have not personally met your fellow ultramarathoner.
A lot of seasoned runners had the pleasure of racing with him and I can feel the sense of loss in the running community.

Truly, no one never knows the day he must come to His creator.
Good luck on your upcoming runs!

30 01 2011

Thanks again Joy : )

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