Do you realise that you are already in a countdown to death? Your death is as certain as your life. But most people ignore the fact. They are so busy with worldly concerns that they behave as if they were going to live forever. Even if death does occur to them for a moment they immediately try to forget it and lose themselves in their own affairs once more.
People generally use worldly concerns as a means of forgetting about death. Soon afterwards these vehicles lead people to lose themselves in this world and to lead anaesthetised lives. A person enters a state of mind in which he forgets the hereafter and begins living in a routine cycle. The temporary concerns of the life of this world detain him in such a way as to cause him to forget that he will one day die and account for himself to God.
That is how some people live. Even if they are unhappy with the lives they lead they still, because of a failure to reflect deeply, are unable to realise the shallow nature of their lives. Yet the inevitable moment of death ordained in the sight of God is drawing closer with every passing day, hour and minute. Some who considers this truth will seek to please God by thinking about the ever-present possibility of death, rather than heedlessly wasting time on worldly concerns. He never forgets that an eternal life awaits him in the hereafter and that he must strive to win God’s approval if he is to attain paradise. Someone who lives in the knowledge that the time will come when he must account for himself in the presence of God therefore enjoys a very rational, high-quality and pleasant life. He constantly enjoys the peace and happiness that come from loving and fearing God and the joy of eternal paradise. He constantly enjoys the comfort and delight of not wasting his life on earthly matters. Yet all the blessings of the world are his, and since he regards them as a means of drawing closer to God he constantly experiences the delight they impart. Since he knows that he must account to God for every moment of his life, his every moment is rational, peaceful, honest and high quality. Yet there is also no doubt that such a person’s greatest gain is the approval of God.
Therefore, anyone acting with that awareness must live without forgetting that the date of the death predetermined for him is rapidly approaching. Living by reflecting upon that both increases his store of good deeds in this world and prepares an excellent life for him in the hereafter. The effort expended in this world to earn God’s approval is, of course, a great means of earning our Lord’s mercy and paradise in the hereafter. God knows best of all, of course.