A Weird Fear of Dying
by Rabbi Aron Moss
I have a fear of dying. But it expresses itself in a weird way. I have read stories of people doing one mitzvah and then dropping dead, because that one good deed was their life mission. So now every time I do something good, I think maybe this is my last. This freaks me out and it isn't good. Should I try not to fulfill my mission so I can live, or do good deeds and die?
There are two types of workers: employees and contractors. A contractor is there to do their job, and that's it. As long as I have completed the tasks given me, as long as the items on my to-do list are all ticked off, I have done my bit and I can go home.
Then there is an employee, who is there to work not until the job is done, but until the day is over. It is not enough that my immediate tasks are done, I have to seek out more work and ensure every moment of the day is productive, otherwise I am short-changing my employer.
We live in G-d's big factory, and we are all workers, each with a specific role to play, in the grand scheme of creating a world of goodness. And we have a choice. We can either suffice with fulfilling our obligation alone, and no more, or we can go beyond that, and refuse to rest until the job is done, until the world overflows with goodness.
If you choose to work like a contractor, only seeking to fulfill your mission, you should know, once your job is done, you have nothing more to offer, and it is time for you to leave this world. But if you choose to be an employee, to serve G-d not for your own self-fulfillment but for His sake, then there is no end to the good you can do. And so even once you have fulfilled your personal mission, you go on to more and more tasks until your day is up.
Never say I have done enough. And don't be scared of running out of good deeds to do. There's still plenty of work to do. So do it.