Charles Krauthammer, the conservative American columnist, author, and political commentator died yesterday at age 68.
Last August Krauthammer underwent surgery that was believed to be successful in removing a cancerous tumor. However, the cancer aggressively returned with no hope of recovering.
On June 8 Krauthammer issued a statement in the Washington Post saying he had only a few weeks to live. In reality, it was less than 2 weeks. After thanking his doctors, caregivers and professional colleagues, Krauthammer closed with this statement about his life’s work.
“I leave this life with no regrets. It was a wonderful life — full and complete with the great loves and great endeavors that make it worth living. I am sad to leave, but I leave with the knowledge that I lived the life that I intended.”
Charles Krauthammer was a brilliant man who overcame incredible obstacles to become a success. Paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a diving accident while in Harvard Medical School, he returned to graduate and become a psychiatrist. In the 1980’s he embarked on a career as a political pundit, whose weekly syndicated column was published in over 400 media outlets.
Yet, with all of his intellectual acumen, Krauthammer was unsure concerning the nature and existence of God and matters of religion.
In a 2013 interview with The Daily Caller Krauthammer said that he didn’t believe in God in the traditional sense. While he denied being an atheist, he compared himself to a philosopher who once said, “‘I don’t believe in God, but I fear him greatly.’”
That’s about where I am,” he told the outlet. “I’ve had a fairly difficult and complicated notion of the deity.” Krauthammer drove home the point that he believes life’s complexities are vast and that he is ill-equipped to definitively know what’s out there.
“I feel the way that I think Newton once said. I feel like a snail on the side of a great ocean and the idea that I can understand a notion like God or humans can as if we’re expecting a snail to understand the motion of the tides through calculus and physics,” he said.
No doubt Krauthammer, like so many, have passed on living the life that they intended. But the question occurred to me, “Are you living the life God intended?”
The first verse of the Bible affirms the existence of God. In two chapters we are given the creation account. We learn of our origin. And as the Bible unfolds we learn of our purpose on earth. And our eternal destiny.
The Preacher in Ecclesiastes who enjoyed pleasure, prosperity and worldly success came to this conclusion about our purpose in life: “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13).
The Psalmist who developed a special intimacy with Jehovah could exclaim,
The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, And night unto night reveals knowledge” (Ps 19:1).
The God who created the cosmos and humankind made himself known through special Revelation. We call it the Bible. It is “God-breathed” (2 Tim. 3:16-17). And in it we find how to live the life that God intended for us. The apostle Peter expressed it in these words:
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” (2 Pet. 1:3–4)
God has graciously provided for our needs–physically, emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually. In fact, through Jesus Christ, we can become a “partaker of the divine nature.” This is reminiscent of Jesus’ promise, “I have come that you might have life–life in all its fullness” (Jn 10:10)
When one becomes a Christian and follows the teaching of Jesus he now has a purpose to live for. As we develop a relationship with the Lord we receive power to live on. In God’s wisdom, we are not alone, but enjoy spiritual fellowship with people to live with. As we grow in knowledge and wisdom we learn how to apply Biblical principles to live by. And through opportunities for ministry, we can participate in a profession to live out.
It’s a good thing to live the life you intended, but it’s even better to live the life that God intends.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman