Have the gates of death been opened to you? Or have you seen the doors of the shadow of death?
— Job 38:17
A distinguished professor of psychology told his class of a rather striking case of somnambulism (sleepwalking). A man got out of his bed, went down the stairs, opened his front door, and walked across the lawn and out into the street. He walked right out of town and on through the fields and meadows. He never woke up until his bare feet stepped into the cold water of a stream that crossed his path. Then, suddenly, he awakened and looked around terrified at the strange surroundings. He wasn’t in his bedroom. He was standing in the midst of a stream.
There are many people like that. The “walking dead,” asleep while supposedly awake, they walk through life oblivious of where they really are in the eternal scheme of things. They never wake up until suddenly they find their feet in the cold stream of death. Then they awaken—startled by strange surroundings—to find themselves in the midst of death and judgment and condemnation.
Death is a wake-up call. When we are confronted by our own mortality or the death of a loved one, it puts life into perspective.