Sunday, March 6, 2011

Living like we are dying.

The Thing About Life is that One Day You'll be Dead ~David Sheilds
This book caught my eye when I was at the bookstore last week. I have no idea what the book is about or even whether it is fiction or nonfiction, but the title got me thinking.

Actually it's hard, when you are a caregiver for a loved one on Hospice, not to think about death and all that goes with it. To remember that you are mortal and your time here will end. And God has been throwing me a few hints on the side, too, I think. I was listening to a different radio station recently because they had been having a radio-thon fundraiser for Children's Hospital, Boston. This song by Carrie Underwood came on at one point:

"This is my temporary home
It's not where I belong.
Windows and rooms that I'm passin' through.
This is just a stop, on the way to where I'm going.
I'm not afraid because I know this is my
Temporary Home."

As a Christian, I know this isn't my final place. God will call me to Him eventually. Part of what I need to do here is learn what He wants me to learn and allow Him to change me so that I am fit for Heaven. ("Bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for Heaven to live with Thee there." has been stuck in my head for a few days.)

The next day, this Tim McGraw song came on, about a man explaining what he did when he learned of a terminal diagnosis:

An' he said: "I went sky diving, I went rocky mountain climbing,
"I went two point seven seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu.
"And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter,
"And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying."
An' he said: "Some day, I hope you get the chance,
"To live like you were dyin'."

How would I change if I got news like that about myself?

One piece of advice I have heard given to young people trying to figure out what to do with their lives is, "Write your obituary. Figure out what you want it to say. That will help you set your goals." It may sound morbid, but I bet it could help center people's thinking and get them to focus on what's important. Maybe I'll try it.

Finally God has brought to mind Psalm 90:12

"Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

One commentator explains that having a heart of wisdom, in this passage, means thinking like God thinks. Oh, to be able to do that at least a little. How much better my life would be!

Perhaps, numbering my days and living like I were dying would be a beginning.

How about you?

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