By Caitlin Choveaux

Expect the unexpected

There is something serious we can all learn from a batsman, a crocodile hunter and a princess...

Phillip Hughes
Phillip Hughes

A few days shy of his twenty-sixth birthday, the startling death of Australian batsman Phillip Hughes in November shifted the fragility of life to the foreground as our nation mourned the unexpected loss of another national figure.

The fatal brain haemorrhage Hughes suffered after a bouncer struck the back of his neck during a match at the Sydney Cricket Ground was an accident that no one could predict.

It takes me back to our collective disbelief when a stingray's barb ended the life of 44-year-old crocodile hunter and wildlife campaigner Steve Irwin in September 2006.

The car accident that killed 36-year-old landmine and AIDS campaigner Princess Diana in August 1997 was another tragic death that rocked our nation to its core in the past few decades.

All were greatly-admired people doing exceptional things, leaving us to question why each died so young and without the opportunity to even say goodbye to loved ones.

Life seems so unfair but the reality is that – even in our age of medical breakthroughs, fitness fanaticism, Botox injections and health supplements – death is inevitable.

Steve Irwin
The late “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin

Death is no respecter of one's personal status. The reality is, among high-profile celebrities, ordinary people die unexpectedly every day doing ordinary things. I hate to say it but you could be one of them. I could be one of them.

As one writer put it: there are two certainties in life – death and taxes!

This quote from Biblical writer James puts things into perspective for me; "How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog – it's here a little while, then it's gone."

Maybe you have not thought about death much but that makes it no less important.

Pascal's Wager, a logical reasoning devised by 17th century mathematician, physicist and philosopher Blaise Pascal, argues that each person bets their lives on whether God exists beyond our universe.

According to Pascal's argument, if we die unexpectedly and there turns out to be nothing waiting on the other side, little is lost. Yet on the flip side, if eternity spent in heaven or hell awaits us, our response to God will result in an immeasurable gain or loss.

He concludes that a rational person seeks to live in anticipation of God's existence. With this said, do you have certainty that you would go to be with Him forever if this were the case? I know I do.

You can research health cover and life insurance to your heart's content but I suggest looking into "after-life assurance" while you are at it.

You could wait to find answers later but you may run out of time. Like many others, I am sure Phil Hughes started his day thinking it would be like any other; sadly it was not.

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