MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP
by David Sisler
“I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul” (Psalm 142:4).
Those words were written by David, Israel’s greatest king. He was a man to be envied: successful, popular, handsome, wealthy. Even God spoke well of him. “He is a man after my own heart,” God said. He had it all. Including despair, doubt, and depression.
Despair, doubt, and depression are killers. Suffering with one or more of them, thousands of men, women, and young people – especially young people – take their lives each year.
Grim statistics show suicide to be the second leading killer of teenagers in America. America, the land of the free and the home of the desperate.
Renee T. Lucero is a registered nurse. She works in the psychiatric ward of Yavapai Regional Medical Center in Prescott, Arizona. She works with those left behind when a loved one has committed suicide. She also works with what is left of human beings after failed suicides.
Renee states one of the brutal facts about suicide, “No method is foolproof. Suicide is usually not successful.”
Writing in Reader’s Digest several years ago, Renee told about a 25-year-old who tried to electrocute himself. His failed suicide left him with no arms.
John leaped from a building and lived. He has severe brain damage and will need constant care for the rest of his life. The worst part is, he knows he used to be a normal, intelligent man.
Then there was the 24-year-old who shot himself in the head. One arm, one leg, one ear, and one eye no longer function.
You want out? There’s no guarantee you’ll make it. What’s left of your life may be worse than what you’re trying to escape. Only then you really will be trapped.
Think of those you will leave behind. You may write a note assuring them that it is not their fault. They will always believe that it was. You may end your pain. For them, the pain will have only just begun. The theme song from M*A*S*H says, “Suicide is painless.” That is dead wrong!
And their last memory of you will be of your selfishness. They’ll remember that in the end, you cared only about yourself.
One more thing: suicide is contagious. Imitation may not be the sincerest form of flattery – it may just be fatal. Do you want someone in your family to imitate you to death?
“Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening,” is a short poem by Robert Frost. An unnamed traveler stops in the woods on “the darkest evening of the year.” As he listens he hears the sound “of easy wind.” Then he says, “The woods are lovely and dark and deep.”
Frost’s intentions may not have been to write about suicide, but he has vividly described your thoughts, if you are considering the ultimate and final solution. It is the darkest evening of the year. The call of the darkness is enticing. It sounds incredibly easy. “But,” Frost writes, “I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep.”
You do have promises to keep. The time for to quit is not yet. There is a journey of many miles and it needs only one step to get it started. And then only one more to keep it going.
Immediately after David cried out in despair, “Refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul,” he made another cry. This one was full of hope. “I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living (Psalm 142:5). Talk to him. He’s listening! You do have miles to go and he will go with you!
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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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