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How much would you like to live?

How much would you like to live?

July 5 2018 LJ cover – Сколько бы ты хотел жить?
Tags: Religion, Christianity

In the novel by F.M. Dostoevsky's "Idiot" is simply amazing reflections. Fyodor Mikhailovich put them into the mouth of the protagonist, although in reality it was personally his, Dostoevsky, life experiences. Let us recall that tragic moment when he was standing by the scaffold. Before that, let us recall that according to his youth Fyodor Mikhailovich was carried away by revolutionary ideas. And since in Europe the wave of 1848 revolutions (in a sense "orange", and somewhere bloody) was swept, Russia took the most stringent measures of resistance.

So, the prisoners are brought to Semenovskiy parade ground, on which stands a scaffold made of wood, covered with black cloth. Above the heads of prisoners break swords as a sign of deprivation of all civil and class rights. On the scaffold there are three pillars. The verdict is read out: "The death penalty through execution".

What? It remains to live a few minutes? Let's put ourselves in the place of Dostoevsky: what would we experience at this moment? He 28 years, he is full of strength and vitality, and so many books still wanted to write! Fyodor Mikhailovich recorded his experiences in this way. Five minutes before death seemed a huge wealth, an endless time. It was brightly presented: how is it, now he is and lives, and in a few minutes with him there will be something ... But the most terrible was the incessant thought: "What if I did not die! What if I turned back my life, what an infinity! And all this would be mine! I would have turned every minute into a whole century, I would not have lost anything, I would count every minute counting, I would not waste anything for nothing! "

The execution of the verdict over the Petrashevists. Illustration from Leonid Grossman's book "Dostoyevsky" (1963)
The execution of the verdict over the Petrashevists. Illustration from Leonid Grossman's book "Dostoyevsky" (1963)

Dostoevsky went to the second three of the condemned. The first three were tied to posts. Soldiers came out with guns. The command was sounded: "At sight". The soldiers raised their weapons and took aim ...


... it was a half-minute ...

Each of us in the place of the condemned could simply go insane (one of those tied to a pillar, by the way, was obsessed with reason). Suddenly, the sound of hooves. A messenger with a package drove to the Semenovsky parade. Right on the scaffold a new verdict was read: the penalty was replaced with hard labor. Thus began the very crucible of suffering, which melted Fyodor Mikhailovich into a true minister of Christ.

But in the novel "The Idiot" when asked whether he managed to take advantage of this wealth of wonderfully granted time, he answers like this. The acuteness of experiences gradually fell from the soul, the fear of death left, and the value of life was no longer felt so brightly. The usual days began to flow, and many, many minutes again, wasted.

Usually we perceive our life as a tangle of thread, which can be infinitely unwound. The breakage of the thread is experienced as a tragedy. "Is it really all?" - We ask a confused question ... And that's amazing: did you live 20 years, 40, 60 or even 80, all this is perceived as a brief moment that flew as if it did not exist. Life passes swiftly, like the bright but brief color of the May gardens, like a dream, so in the end it always seems like you did not live at all.

F. M. Dostoevsky in the 1847 year. Drawing of K. A. Trutovsky
F. M. Dostoevsky in the 1847 year. Drawing of K. A. Trutovsky

It turns out that time in our personal perception is an elusive, disappearing, like water in the palms of our hands. Years fly so that we do not have time to satiate them. Just now you went to school, but now you have to prepare for the final exam. Recently you studied at the institute, and already got a family, raise children and prepare them for school. I used to worry about myself, and now more and more about children until my grandchildren appear. The arrow of time rushes forward, so we do not have time to notice its flight.

In the Book of Genesis we read that the first forefathers were given life inordinately more than we do - for more than 900 years. Then the Creator shortened the life of people until 120 years. Then the measure of life became 70 years, if the same is in force, 80 years (Ps. 89: 10). And no medicine, no scientific and technological progress, as well as the methods of a healthy lifestyle, have not been able to significantly improve the measure of our life.

But let's imagine that we are allotted ten times more than at the moment. It is not difficult for God to give us a term of earthly life of such duration. Let it be 200, 400, 600 years, it is possible even up to 1000 to catch up with the biblical forefathers.

But, firstly, than we will fill these 1000 years?

Alas, a person is easily tempted by everything that is too much: money, real estate, successes, indestructible health and, unfortunately, an abundance of years ... The temptation is too great. "I'll live, I at my pleasure years 900, but repent in the last century" - this will be the thought of the vast majority of humanity. But for these 900 years of sin the soul is so rooted in vice that repentance towards the end of life will be possible only theoretically. And here is the explanation why the first people described in the Book of Genesis who lived almost 1000 years, the Lord shortened life. They turned into monsters of sin, which could only be remedied by a worldwide flood.

For centuries to live vicious thoughts, irritation to surrounding people, centuries-old pursuit of the comfort of earthly, fornication and infringement, so that at the end of a thousand years of life become incorrigible children of hell? Can we imagine a worse, disgusting version of our life?

Apparently, each of us needs his own scaffold, his own uncertainty of fate, his grief, his countdown of the last minutes, during which to look at himself from the outside and understand: how much time I wasted, how many minutes I wasted! Lord, forgive me, a sinner.

Secondly, no term of earthly life is perceived by us as sufficient.

All that is given for a while, and then is taken away, leaves disappointment and sadness in my soul. Imagine that the beloved wife or husband was given only for a while, given the children for a while, and then taken away, for a time given health ... So the earthly life given for some time, and then taken away, leaves in the soul only a feeling of vexation and affliction .

Here's the person to whom 40. He says that the years passed by unnoticed for him. But also twice in 40 produces the same effect. If 80-year-old old man says: "Years passed, as if they did not live at all," then the next 80, and 800, will fly just as fast.

Man is created for eternity and is saturated with no time span, even 1000-year-old, can not

No matter how many years you take a person or even centuries, all this will disappear into the past, like a single moment. This means only one thing: a man was created not for tens, hundreds or even thousands of years, he was created for eternity and can not be saturated with any length of time. The thirst for our soul is an immortal life. The soul's need is only an eternity, and no less than that.

Here is another interesting observation. It turns out that we would not have paid attention to the years we lived, if our body had not worn out. We notice how many years have passed, only on wrinkles on the face, loss of the former flexibility and dexterity, for shortness of breath and aching waist. Remain our body blooming and healthy, we lived years we did not care. That is, the concept of flying years refers only to our outer shell - the bodily nature, which wears like any earthly mechanism, whereas the soul internally feels the same and searches for uninterrupted permanence. The soul wants to be always, always to experience this unique inimitable moment, to bathe in the life and joy of being, realizing itself, communicating with family and friends, drawing on the infinite indescribable good.

Where is the good, what is it, or more precisely - in the Com, it becomes clear as the earth's illusions crash.

God limited the limits of our earthly life to seven or eight decades. This, of course, is not enough. But the allotted period allows you to quickly and quickly know how fast wishes fall, when the flesh fades, and the hands of the most grasping person quickly unclench. Earthly pleasures end in disappointment, so that we seek genuine joy, not knowing disappointment.

The Holy Scripture tells us that in man there is an infinitely valuable - immortal soul. For what good is it to a man, if he gains the whole world, and hurts his soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Mk 8: 36-37). We are created in the image of God, called to immortality, as God Himself is immortal. Therefore, the soul can not be satisfied with the earthly transient life, it craves eternity, but eternity is not in the sense of endlessly lasting meaningless years, but in the sense of total involvement in the eternal God.

It does not matter how much, as you will live this life.

The years allotted to us are like containers for filling. Whether we fill them with something kind and valuable, whether we leave them empty or, worse, fill with all rubbish and garbage - depends on ourselves. An empty train in 70 or 80 wagons is meaningless. A train in several cars, but filled with something precious, is of great value.

The years assigned to us are like a clean notebook. Someone is given a thick notebook, and he runs through the pages, puts on a blot, becomes angry, is broke, to then worry about the fruits of his initiative. Someone is given a thin notebook, but on these few sheets he will capture something pure and beautiful.

And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and the books were opened ... and the dead were judged according to what was written in books, according to their deeds (Rev. 20: 12).

The sheets end, the vessels are filled, the years go away, but the immortal soul remains.

A person who lives on earth is likened to a leaky barrel into which they pour all the time and can not fill. The soul, absorbing the amusements and benefits of this world, remains empty, hungry and thirsty. A man who lives in heaven is like a pure spring, in which the living water that quenches all thirst is not running low.

Time fills with eternity, when a temporary person becomes involved in the eternal God

Dostoevsky remembered the Savior near the scaffold. "We will be with Christ," he said to one of the convicted comrades. In his own way at that time he understood the service of Christ, the burning of further suffering melted him into a true minister of Christ.

In life, each of us has its own scaffold, its expectation, but every man from God is given his own mercy, his own wonderful help. Will we be transformed to spend the remaining years with Christ, so that not a single minute can be lost, so that every minute counted down?

Time is sanctified when it is filled with the grace of Him Who Himself is Sanctification ("For you are Our Sanctification", we turn to Him in a liturgical cry). Time is filled with eternity, when a temporary person becomes involved in the eternal God. And every moment even the smallest moment makes sense, when at this moment you are completely with the One who gives meaning.

Help us, God, not to lose for eternity the precious time allotted on earth!

Priest Valery Dukhanin
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