Amanda Peet’s interview with Stephen Colbert went off the rails (in the best of ways) pretty quickly after the actress’s losing battle with a cough led to Colbert singing “Ricola” as he handed her a cough drop. However, things got real soon after that as the Late Night host asked Peet about her HBO show Togetherness. On the show, many of the characters struggle through mid-life crises as they attempt to cope with where they are without losing sight of where they’d like to be.
Given that premise, Colbert asked Peet, who recently had another child with her highly successful husband David Benioff (one of the producers on Game of Thrones), “What do you know from the mid-life crisis, is this a stretch for you?” “No!” Peet exclaimed, before going on to say, “44 is really. . . it’s quite something.” When the Late Night host asked her what she was worried about with her crisis, the actress quickly replied, “I fear death,” later adding, “I need to know what to believe in . . . I don’t want to be a bag of dust.”
While the mood throughout this exchange was light and humorous, it was apparent that the subject was more than a path to easy laughs for Peet. A hint of genuine concern and interest peeked through the veneer of comedy. Perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering an increasing number of people who either don’t believe in or don’t care much about God still want there to be an afterlife of some kind.
That Peet was driven to this topic at a relatively young age despite professional success and a seemingly strong family demonstrates that you don’t have to be dissatisfied with this life to worry about the next. Every day brings reminders of the finite nature of this existence. Whether it’s a loved one passing, a personal illness, or even just the shift from winter to spring, we are constantly confronted with the fact that this life will someday end. The difference for those who know Christ and those who don’t lies in how we see that day.
For the Christian, Scripture is filled with promises of eternity spent with our heavenly Father in a place prepared especially for us (John 14:2–3). Whether we go to Christ or he comes back for us, our fate is secure. As a result, we are free to better live out his purposes in this life because we don’t have to worry about the life to come.
Tragically, that is not the case for the majority of people on this planet. So God has given all of us, the saved and the lost, the gift of recognizing that something is missing when he is not present in our lives. While that recognition takes many forms, the innate belief that there has to be something beyond this life is one of the most powerful. It prevents us from finding satisfaction apart from Christ and fills us with a desire to know the one who authored our present existence as well as the one to come. And even those who actively reject that notion do so with the knowledge that such denial seems unnatural, even if that feeling is often mistaken for enlightenment.
As Christians, we have received the gift of eternal security in the presence of our Lord and Savior. It is a blessing God longs to give to every person he has created (2 Peter 3:9). Unfortunately, far too many continue to live without that blessing, either due to personal choice or because they have not been told of it.
So take some time today to ask the Lord to help you fully understand the nature of that gift and, out of that understanding, to fill you with compassion for those who have yet to receive it. “I fear death . . . I need to know what to believe in” is a statement echoing in the hearts of every person who doesn’t have a relationship with Christ, whether they are aware of it or not. Today could be the day that God uses you to provide the answer they seek. Are you ready?