Twister Jover is Dead
Alexander the Great had it all under his feet. At 16, he was the greatest warrior there is. At 18, he was a superb military tactician and general. At 20, he was a ruler – and so forth was held king over the known world at his time. He got bored in his lifetime for having no kingdoms left to put up his throne. In his deathbed – “I want everyone to see,” he says to his valet, opening his own palm as he was about to die – “that even if I have conquered the world, yet my hands are empty; for in my death, I cannot take anything with me.” As death approaches Alexander, he knew that earthly ‘greatness’ can never quench ethereal death. He got the whole world in his palm; death reminded him that he couldn’t bring it to the other world.
Wearing my yellow “Souled Out” T-shirt, ‘maong’ shorts and green Penshoppe slippers at church made me look more like I was at home. I became more like Alexander at home – bored to death. I just don’t know – but while there at church, things bothered me so much that I had to make a long pause from whatever it is that I was busily doing. A shrug of thought kept playing on my mind: “you will die Twist, you will die…” Psychoanalysts call it Thanatos – an instinct by which one makes way for ‘death’ to eat up his or her own life’s energy. “Am I really gonna die? How? For how long then will I live? What about my family and my friends? What about my future career? Will I ever marry her?” Questions flash like lightning in my mind. More to it was the provoking thought of evaluating my life: I have been a very naughty kid; A hard-knock learner; A stupid lover; A saintly sinner; a sinful saint. By the way, will this be my last write-up?
Will I really die sooner than this?
I was sharing my sentiments with my friend Ryan as we were on our way home – “I’m afraid…” I just relayed to him what I wrote to my friends from T.U.P as they were having their prayer meeting. Not to disturb them, I left a note saying: “God bless you guys! Go and glorify God! Ma una ko –Twist.” That was one weird letter. I wonder what they would feel if they read the letter and heard a day later that Twister just died. While on that jeepney with Ryan, my mind wildly boggled to everything that I experienced in life, everything I owned and still owns, every success and failure that left a mark on my soul, every relationships I built and rebuilt, every ministry I did (funnily, Lyndon – right on the dot – texted me that I will become the ‘spiritual adviser’ of the management committee) – all of these things, just like Alexander, becomes an open palm. Just when everything around me spins as my thought wanders crazily on the borderline of earthly life and the next one – a word popped on my mind: Jesus. Titanic pause. Like a swoosh of waves trying to slap a rock on the shore, I was slapped back into the reality. In Jesus, I am already dead.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mat. 16:24-26)
I’m not afraid anymore. I may not have the whole world under my control, but I know I don’t need to. I now have a reason to live! And though things aren’t quite as great here as that of Alexander’s or like those people in my history books or on television – I don’t care anymore. I have much bigger things to look forward to. I know, I was not made for this world – and Jesus made all the difference. In fact, the two words printed on my yellow T-shirt got all the answers I needed. I am fully of the Lord’s – and I would not exchange this even if life smiles a thousand smiles, or offers a million profits. I am more alive just thinking of being dead in Jesus.
May death smile at you.
Blog Throwback (Circa March 2010)