I begin this post with a quote from Odd Apocalypse:
We are buried when we’re born. The world is a place of graves occupied and graves potential. Life is what happens while we wait for our appointment with the mortician. Although it is demonstrably true, you are no more likely to see that sentiment on a Starbucks cup than you are the words COFFEE KILLS.
[Odd Apocalypse, page 11]
Anybody who has read the Bible for much time at all should be reminded by this excerpt from Odd Thomas of a passage from the Biblical wisdom book of Ecclesiastes (or Koheleth):
A good name is better than precious ointment,
and the day of death, than the day of birth.
It is better to go to the house of mourning
than to go to the house of feasting;
for this is the end of everyone,
and the living will lay it to heart.
Sorrow is better than laughter,
for by sadness of countenance the heart is made glad.
The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning;
but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise
than to hear the song of fools.
For like the crackling of thorns under a pot,
so is the laughter of fools;
this also is vanity.
Surely oppression makes the wise foolish,
and a bribe corrupts the heart.
Better is the end of a thing than its beginning;
the patient in spirit are better than the proud in spirit.
Do not be quick to anger,
for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.
Do not say, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Wisdom is as good as an inheritance,
an advantage to those who see the sun.
For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money,
and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to the one who possesses it.
Consider the work of God;
who can make straight what he has made crooked?
In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them.
[Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 NRSV]
Odd Thomas is a lot of things…. apparently one of them is a sage (wisdom teacher) of Biblical proportions.