Sunday, April 14, 2024

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葡萄樹傳媒

一個值得讚賞的典範:靠主為人生畫下完美的句點

By: Ken Korkow

這個故事發生在兩年前,我依然清楚的記得那天的事。當時我和我的朋友狄恩‧裴瑞克在一起,當時狄恩已經走到人生的終點站了,然而他不應該孤單地一個人走。

在我一生中看過許多生離死別,包括越戰。但是狄恩的死卻很不一樣。他想要離開因為他深信死亡是另一段生命的開始,與神在一起永生生命的開始。

幾年前,狄恩因為中風只能坐輪椅,他把變賣家產帶著太太珍住進療養院。那時我陪著他、幫助他丟掉從擔任受人尊敬的IBM公司聯合執行時所得來的匾額、獎盃和獎狀,同時也丟掉許多來自服務市民和基督徒的機構的獎狀。

對狄恩來說,這些紀念品是表達感謝的方式。但是到最後,他們不過是狄恩生命中帶來灰塵的「東西」而已。當他即將離開人世時,狄恩並不需要他們;當他在天家的時候,他也不需要這些東西。

但有一個東西狄恩沒有丟掉,那就是對神的信心。在他成年之後的人生,信心一直是他人生的錨和地圖,而當他走到人生最後一段旅程的時候,信心仍是他引路的燈塔。

多年來,他以CBMC基督徒工商人員協會理事長的身分旅行美國各地,但是現在他被限制在床上。

但是狄恩這人「從不」被限制。他說自己的服事不過是轉變了形式,他現在變成禱告戰士而已。他從清晨三點就開始工作,為全球特定的人士和事件禱告。

當我觀察狄恩如何在殘障的狀況下過自己的餘生時,我不禁會這樣想:我會如何面對自己生命中的大挑戰和死亡?有兩種非常不一樣的方式: 第一種是自我中心式的。也許我們會在喪禮上引用英國詩人威廉亨利所說的:「我不會倒下」,作為結束。如詩句所說:

“…It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am master of my fate: I am captain of my soul.”
無論我將穿過的那扇門有多窄,無論我將肩承怎樣的責罰。
我是命運的主宰,我是靈魂的統帥。

But Dean approached life with a God-centric view and rewrote Henley’s poem, calling it "Convictus." His version concluded by stating:
但是狄恩用另的是另一種方式是,以神為中心的,稱為「確信」的方式:

“Beyond this place of wrath and tears, Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And with the menace of the years, Without Christ, I would be afraid.
在這滿是憤怒和眼淚的世界之外,恐怖陰影在遊蕩。
還有,未來的威脅,但因為有耶穌所以我毫不畏懼。

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll,
Jesus is the master of my fate: Jesus is the captain of my soul.”
無論我將穿過的那扇門有多窄,無論我將肩承怎樣的責罰。
耶穌是我是命運的主宰,耶穌是我靈魂的統帥。

我的朋友狄恩好好地走完他人生的最後一程,在平靜和信心嚥下他的最後一口氣。我們是否也會如此呢?

肯恩.寇克住在美國內布拉斯加州的Omaha市,在那裡他擔任CBMC的區域總幹事。本篇文章改編自他每週寫的「生活傳真」專欄。我們獲得允許轉載。

省思 / 討論題目
你是否曾經想過「好好走完人生最後一程」這個問題?解釋一下答案。 在你身邊是否也有像狄恩的人?他們有何特別的人格特質? 本文作者所說的:「雖然身體被限制,但是人不被限制。」這句話對你來說有沒有特別的意義? 文章中有兩段詩,你覺得哪一段比較符合你現在的狀況?誰是你命運的主、你靈魂的引導者?備註: 如果你手上有聖經,想了解更多有關於這個主題的經文,請參閱:以賽亞書26章3節;哥林多前書15章58節; 腓立比書3章12-14節; 提摩太後書4章7-8節;希伯來書12章1-3節

A MEMORABLE EXAMPLE FOR FINISHING WELL
By Ken Korkow

It was more than two years ago, but I still remember the day vividly. I was with my friend, Dean Parrack, at the end – in his last moments of life on earth – because a man should not die alone.

I have seen more than my share of people die – including on the battlefields of Vietnam – but this was different. Dean wanted to go – because he knew without a single doubt this was only the end of the beginning, and the start of eternity with God.

Years ago, Dean had suffered a debilitating stroke, confining him to a wheelchair. He sold his home so he and his wife, Jean, could move to “assisted living.” I was with him and helped him to discard plaques, trophies and awards he had accumulated as a highly respected corporate executive with IBM. He also disposed of various forms of recognition for his service to many civic and Christian organizations.

For Dean, the memorabilia had been kind expressions of appreciation. But in the end, they were nothing more than “stuff” that gathered dust and cluttered his life. Where he was going, he did not need them. And considering his ultimate destination, he could not take them there anyway.

One thing Dean did not discard was his faith in God. Throughout his adult life, it had served as his anchor, his road map, and now his beacon as he traveled the final stages of his earthly journey.

For years he had traveled the around the United States and the world, often in his role as chairman of Christian Business Men’s Committee International. But now his body was confined to a bed.

But Dean the person was NEVER confined. His ministry simply took a different form, as he became what he described as a “prayer warrior. He started his “job” early, often beginning the day at 3 a.m., praying for God for specific people and events all around the globe.

Observing how Dean conducted his latter days, despite his disability, I could not help but wonder: How will I face major life challenges and my own death? There seem to be two very different approaches to this question. The first is self-centric, sometimes summed up at graduation ceremonies by quoting a poem titled, “Invictus,” by William Ernest Henley. It is best known for its final lines:

“…It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am master of my fate: I am captain of my soul.”

But Dean approached life with a God-centric view and rewrote Henley’s poem, calling it "Convictus." His version concluded by stating:

“Beyond this place of wrath and tears, Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And with the menace of the years, Without Christ, I would be afraid.

It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll,
Jesus is the master of my fate: Jesus is the captain of my soul.”

My friend Dean finished well, taking his last breath with peace and confidence. Will we do the same?

Ken Korkow lives in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A., where he serves as an area director for CBMC. This is adapted from the “Fax of Life” column that he writes each week. Used with permission.

Reflection/Discussion Questions:
Do you ever think about this issue of “finishing well?” Why or why not? Can you think of someone you have known that, similar to Dean Parrack, finished well – in your opinion? If so, what were some characteristics of how this closed out his or her life? How is it possible not to feel confined as a person, as Mr. Korkow wrote, despite severe physical restrictions, regardless of the stage of one”s life? Does this seem realistic to you? Explain your answer. Considering the poetic stanzas that close this “Monday Manna,” if you are honest, which would fit you best? Who is the master of your fate, the captain of your soul?NOTE: If you have a Bible and would like to read more about this subject, consider the following passages: Isaiah 26:3; 1 Corinthians 15:58; Philippians 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 4:7-8; Hebrews 12:1-3

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