“There is a season for everything, and a time for every occupation under heaven: a time to be born and a time to die,” a declaration attributed to Qoheleth, a sage by profession and a Palestinian Jew living in the third century BCE. Qoheleth and others developed the Book of Ecclesiastes as a corrective to counter the empty philosophies of Stoicism, Cynicism and Epicureanism that had vulgarized life in Israel and eviscerated traces of the Sacred. Life was empty; knowledge, virtue, love illusory.

Yet, a sense of the Sacred permeates this short book, sacralizing the totality of life: its impetus, Creator God and no other.

Fast forward to the present. Despite later prophetic utterances, even those of the God-Man Jesus of Nazareth, not much has changed, save for solitaries harboring the Sacred within their depths, save for some churches whose Spirit-filled members give thanks and serve with joyful hearts—such is my perception.

I return to yesterday’s green flag and my continuing eligibility for receiving hospice care— “Six months or less to live,” I was told. Others have judged the proximity of my physical death, as if Creator God has no say in the “work of his hands.” The obsession to conform to Medicare’s rules and regs, constantly under revision, keeps the sickened system contorted beyond fixing. The specter of this fiscal dragon continues sprouting new fire-spewing crowned-heads, terrifying its work force.

Qoheleth was more than accurate when he declared “a time to be born and a time to die.” No health care executive can make this decision for me. I belong to Another.